Why is Antarctica called “the frozen continent”? Because it is ICY! The majority of the land, including the South Pole, is covered with ice. There are even sheets of ice on the ocean -sea ice. Antarctic animals rely on sea ice as a habitat for finding food. But Antarctica is warming up lately, sea ice is melting, and the ecosystem is changing. As a result, many animals are suffering and their populations are declining rapidly. Here, we studied the effects of changing climate conditions on Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) populations. We monitored a colony (large group) in the northernmost region of the continent. For 30 years, we kept track of adults and juveniles (young penguins). We recorded how successful they were at surviving and reproducing each year. Then, we created a mathematical model that could help us predict the size of a colony in the future. We found out that, as climate conditions worsen, this colony and many other colonies of penguins in the northern region may disappear within the next 30 years.

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Summary of research
Scientists wanted to find out what effect climate change will have on penguins in Antarctica.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
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Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
January 2018

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