Sunday, March 22, 2015

Too Cold For Penguins

                The periodical “Global Change Biology” (I don’t know about you, but I always renew my subscription early) recently published the work of researchers from the universities of Southampton, Oxford, Tasmania and the Australian Antarctic Division suggesting that Antarctica was too cold and icy for penguins during the last ice age. Yes, that’s right, the emperor penguins that thrive in temperatures of well under 20 below zero Fahrenheit and do their breeding on the ice saw their populations plummet between 19,000 and 26,500 years ago new genetic evidence suggests. At this time, Earth’s glacial sheets were more widespread then they have ever been since, and populations were as much as seven times smaller than today, according to an article in the Washington Post last week.
                The researchers traced modern emperor penguins back to three distinct genetic groups that survived the colder period. These groups are believed to have broken into smaller populations of refugees, then became more prominent again once the world warmed up. Again, folks, we are talking about penguins here. You see, even though penguins need ice, they also need access to open ocean for feeding. Apparently, in most parts of Antarctica, the ice cover became too widespread at this time for sufficient access to food. Researchers suspect that the birds that survived relied on “polynyas”. These are places where the wind and currents were strong enough to keep sea ice from forming.
                But, just because these self-same scientists are alleging that the planet is now warming again,   it’s not acceptable to quit worrying about these penguins. On the contrary, they say that, in the Ross Sea, wind pattern changes associated with climate change are now causing an increase in ice.
                So, when the planet warmed dramatically the last time, before any large-scale human activity of note, the ice sheets of  Antarctica naturally shrunk. Now, however, when “experts” allege the planet has been in a man-caused warming phase for decades, they claim the ice sheets there are expanding in some areas. The article went on to say that “this trend is expected to reverse within the century…”
                Oh, why is that? I’m confused. Is it because global warming is expected to cease or get worse? Is “climate change” abating or accelerating?

                It doesn’t matter to the climate change cool-aid consumers.

                It will be our fault in any case.
                Case closed.

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