Like the 2017 video of the National Geographic starving polar bear, the 2022 deaths of emperor penguin deaths promoted last week is emotional blackmail. Both are examples of preposterous fear-mongering pushed by activist scientists and the media for political purposes. Don’t fall for it.
Despite the hype last week over the newly published paper by Peter Fretwell and colleagues, there is no plausible ecological rationale for proposing that that a single season’s reproductive failure in four small colonies of emperor penguin (Aptenodytes fosteri), due to La Nina conditions — phenomena unrelated to carbon dioxide emissions — are signs of a future “quasi-extinction” of the species, as proposed in the BAS video here. None of the estimated 282,150 breeding pairs of adult emperors were lost in 2022 off the Antarctic Peninsula and chicks born in several dozen other emperor colonies around the Antarctic continent survived, which means this was a tiny bump in the road rather than a catastrophe for the species.Continue reading