Climate change does not just affect humans. We share this planet with an abundance of other species, plant and animal alike. Unfortunately, some animals are affected more immediately based on their habitat.
Arctic animals, for instance, are especially losing their homes and running out of food to eat. Polar bears are seriously suffering with the ice caps melting. It makes it difficult for them to find food and they have to travel further distances, sometimes starving or encroaching on human territory that endangers them further.
But they aren’t the only ones. Emperor penguins, the beloved birds of Antarctica, are in danger of disappearing within the next century.
Emperor penguins need sea ice to survive. They use the ice to breed, rear chicks, to molt, feed, and protect themselves from predators. As Mongabay explains: “fluctuations in sea ice directly affect the birds’ survival: if the sea ice breaks up early, then the chicks could struggle to live; if the sea ice cover is higher than usual, then the penguins have to move farther to get food.”
Seabird ecologist, Stéphanie Jenouvrier says: “If global climate keeps warming at the current rate, we expect emperor penguins in Antarctica to experience an 86 percent decline by the year 2100. At that point, it is very unlikely for them to bounce back.” She and her team have been working on a penguin model for 10 years and their studies find that the Paris Climate Agreement could be the solution to protecting emperor penguins.
Unfortunately, the United States recently withdrew from the agreement. A study published in Nature showed that countries have been failing to meet the terms of the agreement: “Advanced industrialized nations are the key to getting the Paris agreement on track. These countries, conventionally the leaders on climate policy, have made pledges that will cost the most to deliver. They have the deepest pockets and are responsible for most of the emissions since the Industrial Revolution.”
Basically, the United States and other major industrialized countries could combat climate change and protect species like the emperor penguin by actually sticking to the agreement! Sign this petition to urge the United States to re-enter the agreement and all countries involved to actually do their part!
This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 20 November 2019.