Remember when we were told "Penguins Don’t Migrate, they’re dying!" ? – never mind

WUWT readers may remember this story from last year, where Chris Turney, leader of the ill fated “ship of fools” Spirit of Mawson expedition that go stuck in Antarctic sea ice said: “Penguins Don’t Migrate, they’re dying!” and of course blamed the dreaded “climate change” as the reason. Of course three days later, Discover Magazine ran an article that suggested Turney was full of Penguin Poop.

Well, seems there’s a surplus of Penguins now, in a place nobody thought to look, there’s an extra 1.5 million Penguins. From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

h/t to WUWT reader Lewis P. Buckingham.

Previously Unknown “Supercolony” of Adelie Penguins Discovered in Antarctica

For the past 40 years, the total number of Adélie Penguins, one of the most common on the Antarctic Peninsula, has been steadily declining—or so biologists have thought. A new study led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, is providing new insights on this species of penguin.

In a paper released on March 2nd in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists announced the discovery of a previously unknown “supercolony” of more than 1,500,000 Adélie Penguins in the Danger Islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off of the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip.

“Until recently, the Danger Islands weren’t known to be an important penguin habitat,” says co-PI Heather Lynch, Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolution at Stony Brook University.  These supercolonies have gone undetected for decades, she notes, partly because of the remoteness of the islands themselves, and partly the treacherous waters that surround them. Even in the austral summer, the nearby ocean is filled with thick sea ice, making it extremely difficult to access.

Yet in 2014, Lynch and colleague Mathew Schwaller from NASA discovered telltale guano stains in existing NASA satellite imagery of the islands, hinting at a mysteriously large number of penguins. To find out for sure, Lynch teamed with Stephanie Jenouvrier, a seabird ecologist at WHOI, Mike Polito at LSU and Tom Hart at Oxford University to arrange an expedition to the islands with the goal of counting the birds firsthand.

When the group arrived in December 2015, they found hundreds of thousands of birds nesting in the rocky soil, and immediately started to tally up their numbers by hand. The team also used a modified commercial quadcopter drone to take images of the entire island from above.

“The drone lets you fly in a grid over the island, taking pictures once per second. You can then stitch them together into a huge collage that shows the entire landmass in 2D and 3D,” says co-PI Hanumant Singh, Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University, who developed the drone’s imaging and navigation system. Once those massive images are available, he says, his team can use neural network software to analyze them, pixel by pixel, searching for penguin nests autonomously.

The accuracy that the drone enabled was key, says Michael Polito, coauthor from Louisiana State University and a guest investigator at WHOI. The number of penguins in the Danger Islands could provide insight not just on penguin population dynamics, but also on the effects of changing temperature and sea ice on the region’s ecology.

“Not only do the Danger Islands hold the largest population of Adélie penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, they also appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change,” says Polito.

Being able to get an accurate count of the birds in this supercolony offers a valuable benchmark for future change, as well, notes Jenouvrier. “The population of Adélies on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula is different from what we see on the west side, for example. We want to understand why. Is it linked to the extended sea ice condition over there? Food availability? That’s something we don’t know,” she says.

It will also lend valuable evidence for supporting proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) near the Antarctic Peninsula, adds Mercedes Santos, from the Instituto Antártico Argentino (who is not affiliated with this study but is one of the authors of the MPA proposal) with the Commission for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources, an international panel that decides on the placement of MPAs. “Given that MPA proposals are based in the best available science, this publication helps to highlight the importance of this area for protection,” she says.

Also collaborating on the study: Alex Borowicz, Philip McDowall, Casey Youngflesh, Mathew Schwaller, and Rachael Herman from Stony Brook University; Thomas Sayre-McCord from WHOI and MIT; Stephen Forrest and Melissa Rider from Antarctic Resource, Inc.; Tom Hart from Oxford University; and Gemma Clucas from Southampton University. The team utilized autonomous robotics technology from Northeastern University.

Funding for this research was provided by a grant to the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution from the Dalio Ocean Initiative. Logistical support was provided by Golden Fleece Expeditions and Quark Expeditions.

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March 2, 2018 9:08 pm

Makes me want to tap dance.

Reply to  Phil
March 2, 2018 11:03 pm

There goes the neighborhood. The penguins will have to move again now.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  Phil
March 2, 2018 11:58 pm

Happy feet. Swam to uptown Manhattan. Lower East Side on the continent just did not suit them.

Reply to  Phil
March 3, 2018 1:59 am

Phil, I was appalled by that movie. It actively condoned, nay supported, the killing and eating of ‘sea kittens’ by the Penguin Peril. I will never tap dance again.

Reply to  NRW
March 3, 2018 4:04 pm

PETA’s attempt to re-brand fish as ‘sea kittens’ is ridiculous. We think kittens are cute, because we are a lot bigger than they are. Go ask some mice if they think kittens are cute.

R. Shearer
March 2, 2018 9:12 pm

Those aren’t the penguins you’re looking for.

Reply to  R. Shearer
March 2, 2018 11:44 pm

LOL. very smart.
I love the way they find 1.5 million penguins and still manage to conclude that this “underlines” the need to protect them and act now against climate change.

Reply to  Greg
March 2, 2018 11:56 pm

They don’t seem to consider that their constantly chasing the birds on their nesting sites; man-handling them pinning them down and clamping bit of metal and electronics to their wings may be the reason for colony decline.
They will now keep buzzing this new colony with drones and try to scare them off so they can claim a new “disaster” in a year or two.

George Tetley
Reply to  Greg
March 3, 2018 2:28 am

In 1987 I sailed from New Zealand to Norfolk Island, about 200 miles from Norfolk Island the water intake temp. was at 28c and water depth was about 3,500ft. (all approx. as it was along time ago ) we turned around and went to the outside ( temp. 09c ) and there was no gas bubbles in the water and then sailed across the area of high temp. about 11 miles. From a distance you could see a large bulge on the horizon,I have not seen any information on this anywhere, .
Just like the penguins we really no nothing about our planet.

Reply to  Greg
March 3, 2018 10:39 am

Yes, protect them from the humans who simply had to mount an expedition that had finally discovered the critters had found a way to hide from the same humans… Hiding place, a hard-to-access set of islands no one had wanted to go to, and about which no one knew much.
I assume over the next few decades there will be not a handful, but dozens of further “scientific expeditions” to study the food availability and all other aspects of the new “discovery.”

Reply to  Greg
March 3, 2018 1:18 pm

Yeah, that is ludicrous.

Reply to  R. Shearer
March 3, 2018 11:45 am

Life, uh, finds a way – Michael Creighton / Jeff Goldbloom
Warmists create manmade disaster, manmade disaster destroys science, penguins inherit earth

Reply to  kenji
March 3, 2018 1:22 pm

Michael Crichton

Dick Choad
Reply to  kenji
March 9, 2018 12:21 pm


March 2, 2018 9:13 pm

Good news

March 2, 2018 9:16 pm

Dang, the internet is wonderful. I found the ACTUAL DRONE FOOTAGE on YOU TUBE! It’s really exciting. Here it is..

Reply to  Max Hugoson
March 3, 2018 9:10 am

Good one. I’m still laughing.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Max Hugoson
March 3, 2018 4:28 pm

I think you’ve been scammed, Max. Those weren’t Adelie penguins. And not only that, I suspect they were photoshopped.

Reply to  Max Hugoson
March 5, 2018 2:36 am

I watched 30 secs. Now I know why I’ve never watched more. Thank you.

Mathew Burns
Reply to  Max Hugoson
March 6, 2018 1:33 pm

Dude.. you RickRolled me.

March 2, 2018 9:26 pm

Stop sending me message?

Sent from my iPhone

March 2, 2018 9:41 pm

Well, that’s one in the eye for the naysayers.

Reply to  Dreadnought
March 3, 2018 12:09 am

errr, who is saying “nay” to what , exactly?

J Mac
March 2, 2018 9:43 pm

Maxwell Smart: “Missed it by 1.5 million, Chief! Uhhh, maybe Agent 99 and I should check the closet and a few more places also?”

Donald Kasper
Reply to  J Mac
March 3, 2018 12:03 am

Chief, this is Max. The 1.5 million birds was just so unexpected, as we don’t have helicopters or long range drones to cover all of Antarctica, and they appear to have moved. You know, the place is just so remote, and the sea has ice.

D P Laurable
Reply to  J Mac
March 3, 2018 6:39 am

1.5 million penguins under the cone of silence.

Reply to  J Mac
March 3, 2018 4:01 pm

Did I read this correctly the researchers found this colony 3 years ago? And, yet they kept quiet while their colleagues squawked about the vanishing penguins?
Why has this information been withheld for 3 years?

March 2, 2018 9:43 pm

I bet that they are planning on retaking the continent back from the tall penguins in funny colored suits.

Reply to  goldminor
March 2, 2018 11:47 pm

yep , looks like the invasion force was spotted just in time. We’ll have to send a CO2 bomb to take them out otherwise we’ll be over run and will not be able to monitor the imminent collapse and melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Reply to  Greg
March 3, 2018 12:47 am

They don’t look worried. That worries me.

George Lawson
Reply to  Greg
March 3, 2018 2:46 am

“We want to understand why. Is it linked to the extended sea ice condition over there? Food availability? That’s something we don’t know,” she says.
Well, it’s quite clear from their numbers that food availability isn’t a problem, otherwise they wouldn’t be there in the first place, and probably has never been a problem throughout their long history in the Antarctic. Perhaps they should just leave them there in peace and be thankful that Chris Turney got it wrong again as far as their numbers are concerned. That’s both the Polar Bear and Penguin numbers that have recently been proved to be wrong with the climate scientists. Perhaps they will soon realise that there is no problem with global warming in either the Arctic or Antarctic, and that the global warming scare that the scaremongers have created is just a figment of their vivid imagination..

Reply to  goldminor
March 3, 2018 3:17 am

SooooooO …… wada they taste like? … come on …. you’re all thinking it ….. can we KFC them?

Reply to  WXcycles
March 3, 2018 3:27 am

Think about it, these birds could easily swim to where its warm. I think they like being safe. Nature is great to observe.

Reply to  WXcycles
March 3, 2018 5:10 am

They taste just like chicken of course – silly boy!

Bryan A
Reply to  WXcycles
March 3, 2018 7:59 am

I’d always heard that they taste like a combination of Spotted Owl and Bald Eagle

Reply to  WXcycles
March 3, 2018 8:53 am

I fear they taste like whale oil, as they are fish eaters. Really disgusting. Still have nightmares when I remember that I had to drink whale oil in winter with my nose shut in my youth…

Reply to  WXcycles
March 3, 2018 6:58 pm

The reports from Shackleton’s stranded expedition depict the men surviving on a diet of penguins which had been mentioned as tasting rather bad.
Never eaten one, but supposedly they taste oily and fishy…..go figure.

Reply to  WXcycles
March 5, 2018 2:42 am

Mutton birds come to mind: Oozing smelly fat. After you.
But sea lions and great whites are partial to them so who am I to pass judgement.

J Mac
March 2, 2018 9:47 pm

The difficulty of human access to the Danger Islands may protect the penguins from population decimating muggings from ‘researchers’ getting ‘selfie with Adele’ pics.
It’s all good….

Reply to  J Mac
March 3, 2018 12:09 am

Not to mention the ones shooting them up with dangerous drugs and then tying drag-inducing collars around their necks.

Reply to  Hivemind
March 3, 2018 12:13 am

Dang clever of them to call the place Danger Island. Cunning ploy to scare aware nosey strangers. I bet they have smugglers there too. What are they really up to?

Reply to  J Mac
March 3, 2018 5:17 am

Penguins don’t look like they can easily get back on their feet if they fall over, which may happen if a drone flies overhead and they keep watching it until falling backwards.

Reply to  climanrecon
March 3, 2018 7:50 am
Reply to  climanrecon
March 5, 2018 2:46 am

They deliberately get on their stomach to toboggan. Beats walking on those short legs.

March 2, 2018 9:51 pm

“Not only do the Danger Islands hold the largest population of Adélie penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, they also appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change,” says Polito.
Just let the incredible obtuseness of that statement sink in. This person is supposed to be a scientist. Does it occur to Polito that maybe those “declines” in other populations are due to finding other opportunities, like in the Danger Islands? Apparently not. Climate Change is bigger than God and it is the answer to every scientific question for the mindless acolytes who worship it.

Reply to  stinkerp
March 2, 2018 9:55 pm

Here is an interesting thought. What if they have a hereditary memory that told them it was time to move?

Reply to  stinkerp
March 2, 2018 11:51 pm

They mis-spelt his name, he’s called Politico.

Ian W
Reply to  stinkerp
March 3, 2018 1:48 am

Or perhaps the decline on the other side of the peninsula is due to the undersea and under ice volcanic activity that is affecting the fish that the penguin colonies feed on. But the ‘recent climate change’ statement was probably the required genuflection to CO2 that allowed the expedition to be funded and the paper published.

M Courtney
Reply to  stinkerp
March 3, 2018 1:59 am

Or maybe the declines in areas that have been found by his research team are the effect of his research team?

Reply to  M Courtney
March 3, 2018 3:27 am

Nah, it was the summer blizzards that did them in.

Reply to  stinkerp
March 3, 2018 9:03 am

“Not only do the Danger Islands hold the largest population of Adélie penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula”
Islands are part of the peninsula? How does that work?

Ray Boorman
Reply to  MarkW
March 4, 2018 6:49 pm

It doesn’t have to work, Mark. These are climate alarmists talking, remember, where no matter what silly thing they say, dumbarses like us have to believe them.

March 2, 2018 10:18 pm

The article I just read about it they claimed the west side was declining because of man made global warming but the east side has been stable.
They have only just discovered it so that doesn’t very scientific. It is pathetic.

Reply to  mikebartnz
March 3, 2018 4:07 pm

Did it ever occur to them that the penguins are merely swimming around the peninsula?

This Jim G, not the other Jim G.
March 2, 2018 10:19 pm

Several thoughts:
It could be that the primary population was troubled by the visits of humans and decided to relocate.
They could be like insects and once the colony reaches a certain size, a group leaves to form a new colony.
One penguin said to his friends: “Hey guys! It’s warmer over here on the peninsula!”

Reply to  This Jim G, not the other Jim G.
March 2, 2018 11:54 pm

Tastier sardines is the best bet.
Salted Scottish Kippers anyone?
Well if you are an Adélie Penguin… all wings are up.
More sardines, please.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 3, 2018 3:29 am

Don’t these guys like areas with pebbles, so that they can get a shag?

March 2, 2018 10:47 pm

they found hundreds of thousands of birds nesting in the rocky soil, and immediately started to tally up their numbers by hand.
I’ll buy the idea of a more or less accurate estimate from the quad copter fly over, but the notion that anyone, when confronted with hundreds of thousands of something, would even begin to count them by hand is absurd. Drives me nuts that a few sentences into the article I already don’t trust the author and have to go verify everything else in it by other means.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 2, 2018 11:42 pm

I read on one of the reports that they used image processing algorithms.
{I just hate that word now — algor—}

George Tetley
Reply to  davidmhoffer
March 3, 2018 4:39 am

Being old, and as a youngster helping Dad count his sheep ( 32,000 ) by hand, it was easy, you train your eyes to take in a block of 50 and at the end you get a plus minus 1-2%

Reply to  George Tetley
March 3, 2018 8:33 am

George, I’m surprised that you didn’t nod off 😉 !

Reply to  George Tetley
March 4, 2018 11:55 pm

Actually, you count the legs and divide by 4.

Tired Old Nurse
March 2, 2018 11:03 pm

It will now be even MORE important to combat climate change to protect these newly discovered 1.5 million penguins from extinction! Or something to that effect.

March 2, 2018 11:05 pm

but the notion that anyone, when confronted with hundreds of thousands of something, would even begin to count them by hand is absurd.
lest say you settle down with the photos and draw squares on them. each square you found 4 birds a second. And put the totals in the squares.
that’s 14,000 penguins an hour, so 100,000 penguins in a (hard) working day.
The idea that a millennial would think humans could not do this is not absurd, just incredibly scary and sad.
Presumably the idea of human beings sitting down and calculating tables of logarithms by hand calculations of the summing of series is also absurd, to snowflakes.
Yet prior to the advent of the digital computer that was the only way.

March 2, 2018 11:07 pm

but the notion that anyone, when confronted with hundreds of thousands of something, would even begin to count them by hand is absurd.

lest say you settle down with the photos and draw squares on them. each square you found 4 birds a second. And put the totals in the squares.
that’s 14,000 penguins an hour, so 100,000 penguins in a (hard) working day.
The idea that a millennial would think humans could not do this is not absurd, just incredibly scary and sad.
Presumably the idea of human beings sitting down and calculating tables of logarithms by hand calculations of the summing of series is also absurd, to snowflakes.
Yet prior to the advent of the digital computer that was the only way.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 2, 2018 11:48 pm

Sadly, every generation mistakes their newfound knowledge as if were a sign of intelligence.
Knowledge increases by scientific inquiry. Falsifiable theories, new data.
Mathematically: Knowledge does not equal intelligence.
Simply knowing more is not the same as intelligence.
And that point is which the Millennials seems were never taught.

Reply to  joelobryan
March 3, 2018 4:10 pm

The value of knowledge is not in its accumulation, but in its application.

Julian Flood
Reply to  Leo Smith
March 3, 2018 3:04 am

Ornithologists can estimate bird flock sizes by eye. However, when you get into the millions it’s probably better just to say ‘lots’.

Reply to  Julian Flood
March 3, 2018 1:33 pm

Yes, it’s hard to estimate bird populations when you don’t know flock.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 3, 2018 9:45 am

lest say you settle down with the photos and draw squares on them. each square you found 4 birds a second.
The article said they counted them by hand. That’s not counting them by hand.

March 2, 2018 11:11 pm

So much for the Polar Bears and Penguins. It looks like they’ll have to find something else that’s cute and too inaccessible for the general population to clearly check the facts.

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  Tim
March 3, 2018 12:24 am

Ah but the penguins have died out in the Arctic due to global warming (climate change) and the polar bears have died out in the Antarctic due to global warming (climate change).

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2018 1:37 am

Sorry but the Penguins died out in the Arctic because the Polar Bears ate them all.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2018 4:41 am

The Polar Bears died out in the Antarctic
because the leopards ate them all

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2018 7:24 am

But the Arctic polar bears ate all the leopards.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2018 8:07 am

Hey, I just found a skeptics mascot. Much more heart wrenching than polar bears or penguins.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 3, 2018 12:02 pm

The northern hemisphere equivalent of the penguin, the Great Auk, became extinct in the 1850s probably due to human consumption which caused the flocks to decline in size to unsustainable numbers. Look it up on Wikipedia. The story is quite tragic.
Whilst I may be an AGW sceptic , I do admire nature and it is undeniable that humans have caused extinctions, both localised and general. See passenger pigeon, roc, moa, dodo etc.

March 2, 2018 11:26 pm

The penguins are likely following their natural food source abundance.
Where researchers thought penguin colonies declined, they probably just de-camped for better waters and habitats with more fish.
The Danger Islands are so extremely isolated from fishing impacts that natural levels of their prey fish exist there. Hence the penguins find themselves there.
And nothing to do with the CO2 Climate Change Scam.

March 2, 2018 11:38 pm

“they also appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change,” says Polito”

I wonder if it occurred to Mr. Polito that Climate Change may not be what it is advertised as? If it didn’t then he is not a scientist, but merely a religious acolyte.

Robert from oz
March 2, 2018 11:46 pm

There is only one reason they could have snuck over there and that’s because they’re secretly plotting to take over the world .

Reply to  Robert from oz
March 2, 2018 11:49 pm

My guess is the sardines there are quite tasty and plentiful. IOW, they follow the food source.

Reply to  Robert from oz
March 3, 2018 2:56 am

Truth is, when you can’t see the penguins, they’re plotting something
NEVER turn your back on a penguin !

Reply to  Karlos51
March 3, 2018 7:56 am

They are obviously rustling the sheep.comment image

March 2, 2018 11:56 pm

Given that MPA proposals are based in the best available science, this publication helps to highlight the importance of this area for protection,” she says.
So they had no idea what they were ‘protecting’ or why but now …

March 3, 2018 12:17 am

We have no information on how many penguins were there in the past.
So this is not proof of migration, it is proof of how little we know about the poles in general and penguins in particular.
Everybody seems to be doing a lot of speculating in advance of the data.

Reply to  BillP
March 3, 2018 3:15 am

As a matter of fact it is possible to roughly determine the size of penguin colonies in the past and locating extinct colonies by C14-dating the deep-frozen remains of penguins, prey items and guano:
Climate and ice conditions are important, but so is local volcanic activity.

March 3, 2018 12:22 am

ant/arctic biology settled: not even in 2018.

March 3, 2018 1:11 am

Maybe they should repeat the expedition?

March 3, 2018 1:24 am

Sadly, this is exactly what you would expect from human induced climate change. Its predicted by the ipcc in ar5 chapter 11 paragraph 14 , clause 4, subclause 9, line 2 , footnote 41 in appendix c. Where it quite clearly states ‘if, but and might’

Reply to  EternalOptimist
March 3, 2018 1:33 am

and “possibly”….

John M. Ware
Reply to  Jones
March 3, 2018 3:32 am

and “arguably”

Reply to  EternalOptimist
March 3, 2018 4:16 am

… and ‘perhaps’, ‘may/may not’, ‘might’, ‘speculatively’, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

J Mac
Reply to  EternalOptimist
March 3, 2018 8:06 am

Thanks for that Stokesy – You clarified everything, just in the Nick of time!

Reply to  EternalOptimist
March 3, 2018 1:38 pm

And “is not inconsistent with…”

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
March 3, 2018 2:46 pm

Or “is consistent with”….

Robert of Texas
Reply to  EternalOptimist
March 4, 2018 12:01 pm

There is a 97% consensus of all “Penguin Related Climate Studies Scientologists” that all the above is true…
(of which we only found 1 to take to the survey, and they were only 97% in agreement with themselves)

March 3, 2018 1:29 am

A new government funded research paper will soon be released showing that this newly found colony of penguins is endangered by rising global temps as their population has been reduced by 97% since records began.

March 3, 2018 1:59 am

At least they admit that the reason these penguins are thriving is that researchers cant get to them.
That’s quite a big admission.
Much of their catastrophism about penguins, frogs, turtles etc. is of their own making.

Reply to  ptolemy2
March 3, 2018 3:02 am

Actually Antarctic penguins tend to utterly ignore people. There is a large Gentoo Penguin colony at Port Lockroy that is visited by almost all touist cruises. They used to keep half of it fenced off in the hope of proving that tourists disturbed the penguins, but they gave it up a few years ago since the breeding results were always better in the “tourist part”. The tourist shooed away the Skuas that normally eats a lot of the cute little penguin chicks.

Julian Flood
Reply to  tty
March 3, 2018 3:08 am

When I went to a gentoo colony on the Falklands the skuas used my distraction to nip in and grab at the chicks. They didn’t try it with the albatross though – they are seriously big.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 3, 2018 2:57 am

Am penguin, will travel.

March 3, 2018 2:57 am

The talk about how remote and unaccessible Danger Islands are seems somewhat excessive. The nearest airport (Marambio) is 130 kilometers away and there are three permanent scientific bases within a 150 km radius (Marambio, O’Higgins and Fortin Sgto Cabral). As a matter of fact I’ve been within 150 km from the place myself underway from Elephant Island to Deception Island.

Peta of Newark
March 3, 2018 3:00 am

Please please please..
just leave them alone.
just this once
let them be
Thank you in advance

March 3, 2018 4:15 am

It’s the very tip of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, so it probably has just about the mildest climate in all of Antarctica.
Yet we’re supposed to believe that warming threatens the penguins? Seriously??
Actually, the penguins seem to prefer a warmer climate than most of Antarctica currently has. Unfortunately for the penguins, “polar amplification” of global warming seems to only work in the northern hemisphere (and nobody knows why). Even the Antarctic Peninsula (contrary to widespread misinformation) isn’t warming significantly, and Doran et al 2002† found that, although the Earth as a whole experienced 0.06°C/decade of warming during the 20th century, there was “a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000, particularly during summer and autumn.”
† Yes, that Doran!

Reply to  daveburton
March 3, 2018 6:50 am

There’s also volcanism in that area. If there are subsurface hot springs, that’s where I’d want to be.

Reply to  daveburton
March 3, 2018 8:15 am

There are essentially four truly arctic penguin species: gentoo, chinstrap, adelie and emperor.
The other 14 species life in subarctic to tropical waters (yes, tropical, the Galapagos penguin breeds almost exactly on the Equator).

Reply to  daveburton
March 4, 2018 12:11 am

The “progressive” site DailyKOS also ran a version of this Woods Hole story, so I posted a similar comment there. Since I know their modus operandi I then immediately took a screenshot.
Predictably, they immediately deleted the comment. That’s the Left’s usual response to differing opinions and inconvenient information: censorship!
Since they obviously know that “their side” can’t prevail in an open exchange of ideas, at some level they must also know that they’re arguing against the truth, though I don’t suppose they ever admit it, even to themselves.

Reply to  daveburton
March 4, 2018 11:31 am

BTW, “Pakalolo” (the handle chosen by the pseudonymous DailyKOS poster of this story) is Hawaiian slang for “pot” (“choom“), or “pothead.” As if that lot needs chemical help to get stupid.

March 3, 2018 4:18 am

…. waiting for the news that the Adelies have posted a sign that says ‘Off limits to humans and polar bears’.
They need a good lawyer. Think of the penguin chicks!

John Gill
March 3, 2018 4:19 am

Environmentalists have always suffered from a surfeit of do-goodism and it inevitably leads to a sense of moral superiority with which researchers/perpetrators justify their, quite often, inhumane interventions. I recoil from images of wild creatures being sedated, collared, tagged or otherwise molested in the name of science. The use of drones is just another brick in the wall.

March 3, 2018 4:42 am

“UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition”

Reply to  mwhite
March 3, 2018 4:44 am

“Mission to giant A-68 berg thwarted by sea-ice”

March 3, 2018 5:09 am

Adelie penguin behavior may not be suitable for tourists….
Hidden for nearly 100 years for being too “graphic,” a report of “hooligan” behaviors, including sexual coercion, by Adelie penguins observed during Captain Scott’s 1910 polar expedition have been uncovered and interpreted….
“Some of the things he noticed profoundly shocked him,” Russell said. For instance, Levick noted the penguins’ autoerotic tendencies, and the seemingly aberrant behavior of young unpaired males and females, including necrophilia, sexual coercion, sexual and physical abuse of chicks, non-procreative sex and homosexual behaviors.

Steve C
Reply to  DB
March 3, 2018 10:23 am

Ha! Missed that one! Strangely reminiscent of Dead Duck Day

March 3, 2018 5:24 am

The relative isolation of this colony and an assured food supply must be its reason for continued existence.
Once man invades other pathogens will end up in the colony.
Fruit fly just made it to Tasmania.
Newcastle disease is a potential co morbidity pathogen for penguins.
All that needs happen is that the colony be infected with an immune suppressing virus such as Avian Influenza, carried by scientific teams, a real threat
The climate in the Antarctic has failed to support the CO2 hypotheses of catastrophic global warming.
However a virulent strain of influenza, rapidly mutating in such a vast colony, would lead to mass deaths.
A little like what happens in broiler farms.
Australian and International teams performing this valuable work studying this colony must be aware of the biosecurity hazard they pose to the welfare of these protected creatures.
If there were a sudden outbreak of bird flu, this may not be explainable by migratory water birds being the vectors.
From their work, this is a competent team.
It needs to remain in safe hands.

Reply to  lewispbuckingham
March 3, 2018 1:59 pm

WHOI has a good reputation. Note that they are not connected to the so-called “Woods Hole Research Center” in any way other than location.

March 3, 2018 5:26 am

Birds, including penguins, fish, insects, virtually all wildlife and even plants always migrate toward better living conditions. Only humans pick a spot and stay there, and if things change, they blame humans…yet humans live in virtually EVERY climate on earth, though not many in some of the worst.

March 3, 2018 5:39 am

The gutter legacy Media is full of “OMG all the penguins are dying!” lies though nevertheless. Who would be a journo these days? They appear as some kind of Machiavellian child-catchers whose sole aim in life is to scare little children. Truly vile people without a moral to share between them. I’ll exempt Booker and Delingpole though who stand on their principles still.

Steve Lohr
March 3, 2018 5:42 am

I once worked with a researcher who would always say “we don’t know what we don’t know” and usually after some idle conclusion by someone he would say “randomness is the mother of all superstition”. While if you say something frequently it looses it’s power, every scientist should push refresh on both of those admonishments. This paper fully demonstrates a lack of scientific candor.

Reply to  Steve Lohr
March 3, 2018 6:20 am

“we don’t know what we don’t know”
I believe that would be one of those “unknown unknowns” that Donald Rumsfeld spoke about.

March 3, 2018 6:02 am

Well it’s always good to see that the spirit of scientific inquiry is still alive. I’m cynical enough to think that if climatologists were in charge the money for that field expedition would have been spent on more computer time rather than actual investigative field research.

March 3, 2018 6:54 am

Is this an example of the Streetlight Effect?

March 3, 2018 6:59 am

Penguins are also often found on TV, but not in such large quantities.comment image

March 3, 2018 7:48 am

George Tetley
That strange experience at sea may have been a volcano forming at the sea floor.

Myron Mesecke
March 3, 2018 8:55 am

They kept telling us the Penguins were in danger.
Just didn’t realize they meant they were in the Danger Islands.

March 3, 2018 9:11 am

more than 1,500,000 Adélie Penguins in the Danger Islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off of the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip.
Alarmist headline — The penguins are in Danger! /rim-shot
Seriously, I was always hearing the Peninsula was the very place it was so drastically heating up! And now this? What are those penguins thinking by living there?

J Mac
Reply to  beng135
March 3, 2018 10:35 am

Penguin thoughts:
“Danger Islands??? Hmmm – It’s warmer here and closer to open water here, with huge ‘bait balls’ of anchovies just a quick dip away. Lottsa pretty pebbles to keep ‘she who must be obeyed’ happy. No more trudging over 15 miles of broken ice in blizzards, just to get supper for the kids. And no signs of those damn penguin molesting humans! What’s not to like??!!”

Original Mike M
March 3, 2018 9:38 am

They paid me good money to relocate them to where the sea lions wouldn’t find them but then these researchers come along and just can’t keep a secret.

Snarling Dolphin
March 3, 2018 11:07 am

Anybody who thought that shouldn’t call themselves a biologist. Crappy biologist I could live with, but not biologist. “…or so crappy biologists have thought.” See? Much better.

March 3, 2018 12:25 pm

I wrote this up yesterday after I saw the article in the WSJ.
Who are you going to believe… Al Gore or your own eyes?
From the learned and always well-informed and objective Al Gore we get:
“In recent years, the loss of sea ice in this part of Antarctica has led to a dramatic decline in the phytoplankton and devastated the krill. As a result, the population of Adelie penguins has declined 80% in the northwestern Antarctic Peninsula over the past 30 years.”…/fate-adelie-penguins
Meanwhile in the real world, where real data counts more than fund raising efforts from the soft hearted and soft headed:
“Dr. Lynch and her colleagues calculate that the entire Adélie penguin population in Antarctica now numbers more than 4.5 million breeding pairs—about 1.5 million more pairs than known 20 years ago.
When they examined old aerial photographs of the region taken in 1957, they found evidence that the penguins were already in residence on the islands. “All the evidence suggests that population there has been stable since the late 1950s,” Dr. Lynch said. ”…/the-secret-is-out-scientists-spot-pen…
I am not going to hold my breadth until I hear of an acknowledgement from Al Gore et al

Dr Deanster
March 3, 2018 12:26 pm

Soooo …. I wonder what penguin taste like.

March 3, 2018 2:36 pm

Professor Turkey will have to mount yet another expedition through the rapidly growing ice floes to move those 1.5 million Penguins back to where they ought to be so that the Global Warming Meme can continue undisturbed. It is wonderful the way that the Warmistas manage to show that every contrary evidence means that there is a need to protect almost anything even more and act now against ‘Climate Change”.

March 3, 2018 5:09 pm

Dr Turney must have missed “March of the Penguins” a movie about (of all things) Penguin migrations released in 2005.
Must have been the wrong kind of Penguins.

Gary Pearse
March 3, 2018 6:18 pm

A mining engineer/geologist here. I find my services in demand for far flung disciplines these days. Here we go. When changes occur that impact ability to forage or propagate, the Adelie penguins go somewhere else. I’ve had to supply this same type of information re caribou herds and polar bears when biologists have “discovered” the depopulation of these creatures in the Arctic. Mining engineers and geologists noted that ore bodies and rock formations aren’t ‘quick’ enough to disappear like this. It’s one of those corollary things.
RE TURNEY of the Fool’s Journey. He shed tears for the ten’s of thousands of Adelie penguin frozen corpses he found. From WUWT post by Willis Eschenbach at the time.
“It was heartbreaking to visit,” study co-author Chris Turney, of the University of New South Wales Australia, told Live Science in an email interview.
But LaRue counters that Adélie penguin colonies always have dead birds scattered around because the carcasses don’t decompose in Antarctica’s dry, cold climate. Researchers have discovered mummified penguins and seals that are centuries old.”

March 3, 2018 7:08 pm

Poley bears OK, check. Adelie penguins OK, check. Good, now I’m busy burning more fossil fuels to save the Kingfishers from these feaux Greenies and their wicked coldening ways-

March 4, 2018 3:19 am

Excellent! Very interesting. Not just the reportage, but the way it’s received. By and large, readers are using their judgement. That is … as opposed to accepting ‘expert’ opinion as holy writ. There’s still hope!

George Lawson
March 4, 2018 6:23 am

” they also appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change,” says Polito.
If no one knew they were their in the first place, then how could they possibly determine that they have not suffered the population decline found alongside the those penguins in the Western peninsula? I get more and more amazed at the ignorance of these GW fanatics when they try to put a false story together to support their increasingly disproven beliefs. Why can’t just one or two of them have the courage to admit that they were wrong in the first place and try to regain a little of their credibility?

March 4, 2018 8:30 am

Lots of species clock migration patterns to long term weather regime shifts. We can thank ship captains for the discovery of Pacific Ocean salmon migration patterns which has led to the discovery of elk migration patterns too. These records led to the discovery of long term Pacific Ocean oscillations.
Any researcher worth salt would immediately wonder if there is a long term migration pattern tied to the circumpolar current oscillation.

Non Nomen
March 4, 2018 10:13 am

Each and every human being, animal and plant on this planet will be dead some day. That includes Chris Turney, the Grand Master of the Most Obvious.

Reply to  Non Nomen
March 5, 2018 1:22 am

That comment is not a good look on this site.
Whatever errors Chris Turney has made about the biology of this species he, no doubt, has been corrected.
The take home on this colony is that no tourist or faux scientific jaunts should be financed by CSIRO, NSW Uni or any other august body attached to the Australian Antarctic division.
It needs remote sensing,post mortem examination of natural deaths, examination of feathers, faeces and die away eggs by skilled dedicated personnel.
Minimalistic handling of the birds and the banning of tour groups.
Since the area is claimed by Argentina, it is best that we do not cause degradation of this colony, making us Aussies a laughing stock.
Australian co operation would be valuable for virology studies as well as clinical pathology under existing treaty.
Article 2 – Freedom of scientific investigations and cooperation shall continue;
Articles of the Antarctic Treaty

March 5, 2018 2:56 am

Last week was the first good rain in four or five years here. With one lonely exception the roos and wallabies over the back fence have GONE. Did they die or just hop off to better country? We know they suffer drought as all grazing animals do but they will be back, may take a couple of years to build up numbers.
Who says penguins are too dumb to move to “greener” pastures?

Tom Schaefer
March 5, 2018 12:03 pm

Google maps Satellite View is ~NIIRS 6. If TPTB wanted us to know the penguins are there, they would have told us.

Ian L. McQueen
March 9, 2018 1:57 pm

On the local CBC station I just heard the weekly presentation of a real “birder”, an expert on birds. It seems that we’ve been misled by the ignorance of someone in the media and that these penguins were known for a long time. If you want more information write to me at imcqueen(at)

Reply to  Ian L. McQueen
March 9, 2018 7:44 pm

Yes. I think the penguin count came out higher than they expected, but the fact that there are penguins on the Danger Islands has been known since the 1950s. Of course the press exaggerated the story.
Here’s a 2009 YouTube video of penguins there (which was posted on YouTube in 2010):

This one is from 2011:

This one is from 2012:

Reply to  daveburton
March 9, 2018 8:22 pm

BTW, at :34 into that 3rd video you can hear “Adélie” pronounced (“uh deli”).

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