Watching chicks go swimming may be considered summer fun, but not for the Emperor Penguin of Antarctica.
A new study led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution showed that Emperor penguins in East Antarctica may disappear if global temperatures continue to rise.
This is bad news for these tall and flightless sea birds that rely almost exclusively on sea ice to raise their young.
The Bunsen Burner reported that a massive breeding failure could result if the ice breaks and disappears early enough in the breeding season.
Co-author of the study, Stephanie Jenouvrier, explained that if the chicks end up in the water they would not yet have the waterproof plumage that allow penguins to swim in the freezing cold waters, according to ABC News.
The Christian Science Monitor noted that projections vary from the extreme, complete loss of penguins before the end of this century, to optimally, a slow incline until the year 2080, at which scientists project another dramatic decrease.