Emperor Penguin sea ice and home disappearing

Here we have a photo I posted a couple of weeks ago of the Emperor penguin colony at Windy bay on the Brunt ice shelf.   There is also a picture from last night when I took a couple of chefs, Ant and Alan, down to see the penguins. A crevasse which has recently appeared can be seen in the bottom of the shot.  It has grown 50cm every 24hrs for the past three days.  It would be just jumpable on the way down but not on the way up. We had a ladder to cross it with us but the thought of floating off on the sea ice with a bunch of penguins to our doom was to much so we stayed up top to watch.

You can see how much ice has disappeared over the last couple of weeks.

It is always an unknown entity once the sea ice footing is this small and only one year old. It could go in the next hour or maybe in a month? If it goes in the next couple of weeks all the Emperor chicks will die as they still have their fluffy coats which are not water proof and they would freeze quickly or drown.    All the chicks died last year for this reason. So hopefully the ice will hold out for them this year??

Emporer colony a few weeks ago

Emperor penguin colony last night

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~ by kirkfwatson on December 11, 2009.

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