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It may be no penguins left to our grandchildren

The Arctic is changing much faster than expected. It is a mix of natural irregularity, together with warmer air and sea conditions triggered by increased greenhouse gases.

The area covered by summertime sea ice is anticipated to decline to about one-quarter of its present size - from its current 1.8 million square miles to about 390,000 square miles - a loss of two-fifths the size of the United States.

Increasingly the ice is vanishing at a troubling rate in the Antarctic Peninsula which in turn impacts the future  and the very existence of at least half of the globe's 18 penguin types, who rely on ice and frigid waters that support krill, the penguin diet main part.

Specialists say about 50 percent of the eggs will produce a penguin chick that makes it to sea. And about half of those will make it through as they plunge into the sea for their first swim. Those that survive it through go through environment change that is threatening their food supply.

Due to the fact that they are seeing massive decline to their population, researchers are worried. They're probably not going to go extinct anytime soon, but the environment is altering really fast. Chinstraps populations seem to have declined in half in the last 30 years.

The Peninsula is one of Antarctica's a lot of rapidly altering areas due to the fact that it is farthest away from the South Pole, and its ice shelf loss could be a forecast of changes  in various other parts of Antarctica and the world if warming continues.

Ice is the source of all life in Antarctica. Algae live on top of the ice and beneath it too, providing a grazing ground for the krill that accumulate beneath. Krill mainly sit tight under the frozen Southern Ocean. As the ice sheet vanishes due to climate change, that habitat shrinks and relocates more south.

 Less ice has actually opened areas to more fishing boats that in turn have targeted krill as a lucrative catch. The boats increasingly drop their nets in the same waters where penguins look for food.

The nets are not catching penguins indiscriminately, however they are fishing the krill that the penguins eats to survive.

Where do those caught krill wind up? In part, they're used as fish meals at salmon farms, preferable since krill assistance color salmon "pink", which increases sales at the supermarket.


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