Emperor penguins ‘will be extinct’ by 2100
EMPEROR penguins could be on their way to 'quasi-extinction', according to concerned scientists.
Quasi-extinction leaves population numbers so low they have little chance of recovering and a new study suggests this could happen to emperor penguins this century.
The concern is that emperor penguins need a delicate balance of sea ice.
Too much and trips to the ocean for food would be too long, too little and penguin chicks are at risk of drowning.
Sea ice is also important for emperor penguins so they can rest and escape predators.
Back in 2016, the early break up of sea ice killed over 10,000 emperor penguin chicks from the second-largest colony in Antarctica.
The colony is not said to have recovered from this.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing emperor penguins as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.
Emperor penguins don't naturally live in the US so some of the measures that come with the Endangered Species Act protection wouldn't apply.
However, it could be used as a way to pressure US companies into reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it could also limit US fishing in areas that the penguins may rely on.
Results from the new study show that if the climate change goals set out in the Paris climate agreement are met then we could keep warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F).
This could be enough to protect the habitat of emperor penguins.
However, the world currently isn't on track to meet those targets, leaving the future of emperor penguins and many other species in the balance.