Kooyman Gerald L.
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ArticleAntarctic penguin response to habitat change as Earth's troposphere reaches 2°C above preindustrial levels(Ecological Society of America, 2010-02) Ainley, David G. ; Russell, Joellen ; Jenouvrier, Stephanie ; Woehler, Eric ; Lyver, Philip O'B. ; Fraser, William R. ; Kooyman, Gerald L.We assess the response of pack ice penguins, Emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri) and Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae), to habitat variability and, then, by modeling habitat alterations, the qualitative changes to their populations, size and distribution, as Earth's average tropospheric temperature reaches 2°C above preindustrial levels (ca. 1860), the benchmark set by the European Union in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. First, we assessed models used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) on penguin performance duplicating existing conditions in the Southern Ocean. We chose four models appropriate for gauging changes to penguin habitat: GFDL-CM2.1, GFDL-CM2.0, MIROC3.2(hi-res), and MRI-CGCM2.3.2a. Second, we analyzed the composited model ENSEMBLE to estimate the point of 2°C warming (2025–2052) and the projected changes to sea ice coverage (extent, persistence, and concentration), sea ice thickness, wind speeds, precipitation, and air temperatures. Third, we considered studies of ancient colonies and sediment cores and some recent modeling, which indicate the (space/time) large/centennial-scale penguin response to habitat limits of all ice or no ice. Then we considered results of statistical modeling at the temporal interannual-decadal scale in regard to penguin response over a continuum of rather complex, meso- to large-scale habitat conditions, some of which have opposing and others interacting effects. The ENSEMBLE meso/decadal-scale output projects a marked narrowing of penguins' zoogeographic range at the 2°C point. Colonies north of 70° S are projected to decrease or disappear: 50% of Emperor colonies (40% of breeding population) and 75% of Adélie colonies (70% of breeding population), but limited growth might occur south of 73° S. Net change would result largely from positive responses to increase in polynya persistence at high latitudes, overcome by decreases in pack ice cover at lower latitudes and, particularly for Emperors, ice thickness. Adélie Penguins might colonize new breeding habitat where concentrated pack ice diverges and/or disintegrating ice shelves expose coastline. Limiting increase will be decreased persistence of pack ice north of the Antarctic Circle, as this species requires daylight in its wintering areas. Adélies would be affected negatively by increasing snowfall, predicted to increase in certain areas owing to intrusions of warm, moist marine air due to changes in the Polar Jet Stream.
ArticleThe emperor penguin - vulnerable to projected rates of warming and sea ice loss(Elsevier, 2019-10-08) Trathan, Phil N. ; Wienecke, Barbara ; Barbraud, Christophe ; Jenouvrier, Stephanie ; Kooyman, Gerald L. ; Le Bohec, Céline ; Ainley, David G. ; Ancel, André ; Zitterbart, Daniel ; Chown, Steven L. ; LaRue, Michelle ; Cristofari, Robin ; Younger, Jane ; Clucas, Gemma V. ; Bost, Charles-Andre ; Brown, Jennifer A. ; Gillett, Harriet J. ; Fretwell, Peter T.We argue the need to improve climate change forecasting for ecology, and importantly, how to relate long-term projections to conservation. As an example, we discuss the need for effective management of one species, the emperor penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri. This species is unique amongst birds in that its breeding habit is critically dependent upon seasonal fast ice. Here, we review its vulnerability to ongoing and projected climate change, given that sea ice is susceptible to changes in winds and temperatures. We consider published projections of future emperor penguin population status in response to changing environments. Furthermore, we evaluate the current IUCN Red List status for the species, and recommend that its status be changed to Vulnerable, based on different modelling projections of population decrease of ≥50% over the current century, and the specific traits of the species. We conclude that current conservation measures are inadequate to protect the species under future projected scenarios. Only a reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will reduce threats to the emperor penguin from altered wind regimes, rising temperatures and melting sea ice; until such time, other conservation actions are necessary, including increased spatial protection at breeding sites and foraging locations. The designation of large-scale marine spatial protection across its range would benefit the species, particularly in areas that have a high probability of becoming future climate change refugia. We also recommend that the emperor penguin is listed by the Antarctic Treaty as an Antarctic Specially Protected Species, with development of a species Action Plan.