Greater than half of Antarctica’s crops and animals might disappear because of local weather change – Watts Up With That?


By Paul Homewood

A study in the journal PLOS Biology found that 65% of Antarctica’s plant and animal species, including penguins, will likely disappear by the end of the century if the world does nothing to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

The study also showed that current efforts to protect Antarctica are not working on the rapidly changing continent.

Researchers concluded that implementing an additional layer of cost-effective strategies they outlined in the study could save up to 84% of Antarctica’s endangered biodiversity.

“Antarctica doesn’t really contribute to climate change; there aren’t large numbers of people living there, so the biggest threat to the continent comes from outside the continent,” Jasmine Lee, lead author of the study, told CNN.

“We really need global action on climate change, as well as more local and regional conservation efforts, to give Antarctic species the best chance of survival going forward.”

Thursday’s study shows that dwindling sea ice will threaten emperor and Adelie penguins, which rely on ice from April through December.

“These iconic species, like emperor penguins and adelie penguins, are endangered and it’s really sad to think that Antarctica is one of the last great wildernesses on the planet and that human impact is being seen and felt there,” Lee said.

“It’s just incredibly sad to think that we could push these types of species towards extinction.”

Lee said more action is needed to save one of Earth’s vast, pristine biomes.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Lee said.

“We are now at this major tipping point, not just for Antarctica but globally when it comes to climate. We have an opportunity to stop it, and if we don’t do something now, the impact will be far, far worse than it could be.”

There’s just one small problem – the southern polar regions have barely warmed since 1980:

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