Sometimes, you just have to laugh. This is from the AGU, EoS and it was an actual funded science study, published in an applied physics journal no less. Personally, with them making the jump from weather to climate in describing weather event driven penguin behavior in this press release, it looks like emperor junk science to me.
The conclusion? “The findings agree with the well-established idea that the penguins huddle primarily for warmth and not for protection against predators…”
Newsflash: Adult emperor penguins have no predators on land, where they huddle. Only chicks are at risk from predators when they don’t huddle. What next? Penguin regurgitation rate as a proxy for local CO2 levels? Penguin poop as a proxy for Antarctic albedo?
SMH. I weep for science.
Emperor Penguins’ Huddles Change in Response to Weather
How quickly the penguins huddled when weather worsened provided clues about their feeding success and how climate change may alter the Antarctic biosphere, according to scientists.
By Kimberly M. S. CartierOn the frozen landscape of Antarctica, emperor penguins huddle together to shield against cold, windy, and harsh conditions. This lets the penguins share warmth and conserve energy during extended times between forages and during breeding.Now scientists have used advances in remote sensing techniques to observe the evolution of an emperor penguin huddle at Atka Bay in eastern Antarctica. Their study revealed the primary trigger that prompts the birds to huddle and reaffirmed the main purpose of the groupings.Huddle locations often lie kilometers from the nearest permanent research station amid extremely cold (−50°C) and windy (150-kilometer-per-hour) conditions. They also tend to migrate around.