A recent surprisingly positive study on the effects of global warming has uncovered a strange fact. We may cry over Antarctic melting, but penguins love it! How can this be? Well, if we’re to ignore the other long term dangers to them, they are getting more food! And how could they not like that?
Global warming has one too many bad consequences. They are impossible to list here due to their numbers. However, it seems that there are some animals out there in the open world that are actually doing well with, and we can’t blame them.
Just as real estate agents go bananas when the prices go up, so do penguins when the water levels go up. At least they might, if they knew what that actually means for them.
This recent find, published in the Oceans issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, has some interesting implications. Now, some of you may know that the Antarctic continent is pretty much a ginormous megastructure of ice. And due to recent turnouts in climate change, the continents itself, its ice sheets, its glaciers – are all melting. And humans are looking at this with an uncomfortable look on their faces.
It’s a signal of the worsening effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change denial is actually backing down, since their main argument in the past was the fact that Antarctica was still OK. Well not it’s not. But the surprise good news is that, all that freshwater being dumped into the ocean is filling it with iron. Iron, as the biologists might know, is the most important part in the diet of phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton is on the lowest of the low levels of the food chain in the oceans. It itself is the main component of the diet of krill, fish, and other organisms. And who eats fish, krill and other sea-dwelling small organisms? The answer should be obvious by now: penguins. But not only, whales and seals also.
The researchers from Stanford University used satellite imagery to look at polynyas, or portions of water which are teeming with life, due to their warmness, by comparison with other parts of the ocean. In the Antarctic region, there are 46 such zones. In and around this zones, fish are everywhere, as are penguins and seals, which need big populations of fish to survive.
To the scientists’ great shock, a big 60% of the boom in life in the polynyas was due to the surrounding glaciers melting. However, the scientists need more time to confirm their results, as they only had satellite images of the areas, since getting to such remote, inhospitable areas would be incredibly hard, if not impossible.
Image Source: 7-themes.com