Photo by @cristinamittermeier // Can you guess what is wrong with this penguin? We spent a month in Antarctica on assignment for @natgeo and it was not until the second week that I realized we had not seen snow once. Every day, however, we experienced several hours of incessant rain. As temperatures warm in Antarctica, the weather regime is changing from snow to rain. In the past, the penguin colony would be covered in snow but now, it is a large, muddy mess. Baby penguins are covered in fluffy down and they can easily preen themselves the it snows. When they get muddy and wet, their down loses its insulation ability and as temperatures drop at night, they become hypothermic and die.
As the debate on weather or not to protect the Antarctic Peninsula starts to play out, I hope that the members of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), who will be voting on this issue are inspired to protect it for all humanity.
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