In the world, climate change effects a lot of places and takes a lot of homes away from people, but it’s not only the people that are being affected by this. Animals are getting their homes taken away from them every day and there is nothing they can do. In Antarctica, there are many animals that need a different environment from the rest of the world, like the penguins. They need cold temperatures and an icy environment, but with climate change that’s changing. It’s getting warmer, the ice is melting and there are less breeding grounds for the for the penguins. Another big issue that destroys the environment is the pollution everywhere, but mainly the oceans where lots of garbage is dumped and left for animals to eat or get trapped in. “More than 99.5% of continental Antarctica is covered by ice that is, in places, over 4 km thick, and open areas are restricted to the continental margin and mountaintops”. (Peck, 2017)
2.0 Extent of climate change in Antarctica
“Maritime Antarctic freshwater habitats are amongst the fastest changing environments on Earth”. (MIMURA, 2017) In the last 15 years the temperatures have risen about 1ºC and the ice cover has dramatically decreased. In the Antarctic, the marine animals can’t survive in temperatures between +5ºC and 10ºC (Boersma and Rebstock, 2017). The Antarctic is one of the important carbon sinks. Today, it accounts for up to 25% of earths carbon sink. But the permafrost is melting at unprecedented rates and releasing large amounts of carbon, which is speeding up the process.
3.0 Effects on penguin’s
“Penguins are aquatic, flightless birds that are highly adapted to life in the water. Penguins are found almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, where they catch their food underwater and raise their young on land” (Defenders of Wildlife, 2017). It depends on the species because while the penguins of the Galapagos withstand a warm climate, the Adeline penguins (Pyogenesis Adeline) need low temperatures to avoid fainting; that is why, along with the emperor penguins, they are the only other species who live all their lives in Antarctica. (Penguins-world.com, 2017)
4.0 Governmental approaches on remediation and 5.0 Future objectives to help slow down the process of climate change
There are ways to slow down climate change that the government put into place and that people can do to help. People and use more solar energy for their homes, electric cars and protect forests/parks from getting clear cut for homes or buildings. We can also educate the younger generation about climate change and how it is affecting the world and what can be done to slow the process down. The forests and national parks protection has increased by 70% (Canada, 2017). Another thing the governmental is doing to help climate change is investing in more electric car charging station. “The Canadian budget in 2016 provided $62.5 million for infrastructure or alternative transportation fuels, including charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and natural gas and hydrogen refueling stations.” (Canada, 2017). “Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 Mt per year by 2030.” (Defenders of Wildlife, 2017)
“In some areas of the Antarctic experiencing increases in sea ice extent. Yet in others, sea ice is decreasing, with measurable impacts on wildlife. ASOC believes that understanding climate change impacts on Antarctica is a matter of critical importance for the world and for the continent itself”(Asoc.org, 2017). With the climate change increasing the tempertures and the ice melting the penguins are running out of space to life and food to eat. If we don’t take action now we will lose these beautiful animals and doming the world to extreme climate change. There is still hope if we create less of a carbon footprint.