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Ilmaston lämpeneminen uhkaa Etelämantereen pingviinejä

Ilmastonmuutoksen aiheuttama jääpeitteen pieneneminen ja ravinnon niukkuus uhkaavat hävittää Etelämantereen pingviiniyhdyskuntia, osoittaa WWF:n tuore raportti ”2˚C is too much!”. Ilmastonmuutosmallien mukaan kahden asteen lisäys maapallon lämpötilassa verrattuna esiteolliseen aikaan vähentäisi dramaattisesti keisaripingviinien (Aptenodytes forsteri) ja jääpingviinien (Pygoscelis adeliae) yhdyskuntien määrää.

Keisaripingviini on mukautunut elämään Etelämantereen karuissa ja äärimmäisen kylmissä olosuhteissa. Jatkuva lämpötilan nousu kuitenkin pienentää Eteläisen jäämeren jääpeitettä ja uhkaa vähentää pingviinien ravinnonhankinta- ja pesimisalueita. Jääpeitteen pieneneminen vaikuttaa myös pingviineille tärkeän ravinnonlähteen, krillin, määrään sekä muihin paikallisiin lajeihin. Ilmastonmuutoksen vaikutukset ovat jo nyt pienentäneet pingviinikantoja Etelämantereella.

Ainoa tapa hallita ilmastonmuutoksen riskejä on vähentää kasvihuonekaasupäästöjä merkittävästi. WWF vetoaa kansakuntia toimimaan yhteistyössä maailmanlaajuisen ilmastosopimuksen saavuttamiseksi. Kehittyneiden maiden on leikattava 25–40 % päästöistään vuoteen 2020 mennessä ja 80–90 % vuoteen 2050 mennessä vuoden 1990 tasoon verrattuna.

Lue koko tiedote englanniksi alla

Tutustu raporttiin osoitteessa www.panda.org/antarctica

Lisätietoja: suojelujohtaja Jari Luukkonen, WWF Suomi, 040585 0020

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Climate change to devastate or destroy many penguin colonies

Half to three-quarters of major Antarctic penguin colonies face decline or disappearance if global temperatures are allowed to climb by more than 2°C.

A new WWF report – 2°C is Too Much – shows that the colonies of 50 per cent of the iconic emperor penguins and 75 per cent of the Adélie penguins are under threat.

Climate change models forecast that a 2°C temperature rise above pre-industrial level could be a reality in less than 40 years, producing a strong reduction in the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean which is an essential nesting and feeding ground for Emperor and Adélie penguins.

A reduction in the sea ice is also likely to have a knock-on effect on the abundance of krill, which is a vital food source for penguins.

Juan Casavelos, WWF Antarctica Climate Change Coordinator said: “Penguins are very well adapted to living in the cold and extreme conditions of Antarctica, so the continued increase in global temperature and resulting loss of feeding areas and nesting zones for their chicks has already led to notable reductions in their populations.

“If temperatures increase by another two degrees these icons of the Antarctic will be seriously threatened.”

A rise in global average temperatures of 2°C is widely regarded as a threshold level for unacceptable risks of dangerous climate change. Many recent climate models forecast likely temperatures rises in excess of this.

2°C is Too Much was launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain.

The only way to significantly reduce the risks of climate change in Antarctica, as well as globally, is to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

WWF is calling for all nations to work together to agree on a new global deal that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol and tackle climate change beyond 2012.

This should include an obligation on developed countries to cut 25-40 per cent of their emissions by 2020 and 80-90 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

WWF also proposes the establishment of a network of marine protected areas to reduce pressure on the species, and the implementation of precautionary management measures that ensure the future of the krill and finfish fisheries and all Southern Ocean species – including penguins – that are dependant on them.

Juan Casavelos said: “The predicted threat to Emperor and Adélie penguin populations is a clear incentive for the world to agree on a set of measures to reduce global emissions.

“It is imperative that the international community analyses all possible ways to limit climate change and improve the resilience of the penguin population.”

Notes to editors:

Reliable measurements of temperature in Antarctica only began in the 1950s. Fifty years of temperature measurements show that the Western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the regions that is experiencing the most rapid warming on Earth, while there has been little change (or a small cooling) across the rest of the continent. At Faraday Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, mean

annual air temperature has been warming in excess of 2.5°C over the past 50 years, or four times faster than the average rate of Earth's overall warming. [Warming rate of Vernadsky / Faraday = 0.56°C per decade over past 50 years (Turner et al., 2005); Rate of global warming = 0.13°C per decade over last 50 years (IPCC, 2007a)].

WWF's report is based on the scientific study conducted by David Ainley, Joellen Russell and Stephanie Jenouvrier: "The fate of Antarctic penguins when Earth's tropospheric temperature reaches 2°C above pre-industrial levels". Both WWF's report and the scientific study can be downloaded at:

www.panda.org/antarctica

Raising global awareness on the issue of climate change is a priority objective of WWF's Antarctic Climate Change Focal Project.

Focal contact people:

Juan Casavelos, Coordinator, Antarctica Climate Change Focal Project, WWF/Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina (FSVA), + 34 649 487 817

Miguel Ángel Valladares, WWF Spain / Adena, + 34 69 07 62 38 7

Hekki Wildstedt, WWF Spain / Adena, + 34 63 74 97 2 99

Coral García Barón, WWF Spain / Adena, + 34 60 9 34 68 38

For further information:

Tina Tin, Principal Technical Consultant, Antarctica Climate Change Focal

Project, +33 6 84 87 47 48

Diego Moreno, General Director, FVSA

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity,ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, andpromoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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