The changing habitats of the penguins may give us a small window into the future of our own habitats. As the globe warms, animals like penguins, which spend a lot of time on ice, may be the first to notice.
Among the flightless birds of the Southern Hemisphere, penguins are well suited to life in the icy southern seas. They are masterful swimmers, spending as much as 75% of their lives in the water. Of the 18 different penguin species, seven live around Antarctica. Antarctica has 90 percent of the world’s ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, like the rest of Earth, is warming, but at an even faster pace. Researchers warn that the face of Antarctica will change in the next 100 years as ice melts and glaciers retreat.
The changing global environment will change the penguins’ lives. According to Dr. Andrew Clarke of the British Antarctic Survey, “Many Antarctic organisms are susceptible to very small changes in temperature.” Dr. Clarke predicts that if extreme temperature change continues, it will lead to dramatic changes, including some extinctions. Already, some penguin habitats may be shifting to the south. The pattern of snowfall is important to a penguin’s breeding. Ice patterns are also important, because the birds have to travel to the edge of the ice shelf in order to feed.
It’s too early to estimate the exact impact of global warming on penguin habitats. Scientists will continue to watch the progress and survival of penguins as they try to adapt to their changing world.
【題組】Which of the following is NOT a result of global warming?
(A)The habitats of penguins are changing.
(B)Ices around Antarctica are melting faster.
(C)Glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere are retreating.
(D)Penguins will breed faster and more than before.