It’s not an exaggeration to say many global warming alarmists act as though rising carbon-dioxide levels will destroy the world and virtually every living creature on it. It seems not a week goes by without another “dire warning” about one species or another that will someday be on the verge of collapse because of slightly higher temperatures predicted to exist 100 years from now. This week’s doomed furry friend is the emperor penguin, who researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say could be nearly wiped out by 2100 because of climate change.
According to the researchers, “Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species.”
The Daily Mail (United Kingdom) reported, “While some species are able to adapt to climate change, melting Antarctic ice will strip emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds, putting their numbers at risk. New research predicts that by the end of the century, emperor penguin populations could decline by up to 99 per cent.” [sic]
The theory is based on mathematical models that predict as sea ice in the Antarctic continues to melt, the penguins’ breeding and feeding grounds will shrink to unsustainable levels.
However, there are several massive problems with this theory. For starters, the modern penguin, including the emperor penguin, is believed to have been around for millions of years and has undoubtedly faced significant temperature variations over the course of its existence — and yet, it’s still here.
Second, as prominent climate skeptic Anthony Watts noted in a recent article on the subject, researchers, including the researcher involved in the present study, have made or relied upon significant errors in estimating penguin populations in the past. In 2012, Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey published research that found the number of emperor penguins had been dramatically undercounted. Instead of the 270,000 to 350,000 believed to exist, Fretwell found a much better estimate is 595,000.
How can people incapable of counting penguins be capable of predicting their populations 100 years in the future?
Third, all this assumes humans are causing climate change by increasing their carbon-dioxide levels; global temperature will continue to rise for the next 100 years, even though the climate models produced by climate alarmists have been almost completely wrong over the past 20 years; some other natural force, such as the Sun, won’t cause global cooling over the next 100 years; and that humans won’t create technology over the next century that significantly reduces our carbon-dioxide production.
Call me a hopeless optimist, but I suspect penguins, who have been around for millions of years, will survive in the slightly warmer world that’s projected for 2100.