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Penguin species in Antarctica hit hard by climate change

ECE/MIE Professor Hanumant Singh’s research on the declining penguin population in Antarctica was featured on the CBS This Morning segment “Penguin species in Antarctica hit hard by climate change“.

Penguin Population at a Decline:

Scientists from Northeastern University along with Stony Brook are analyzing penguin population in relation to climate change. The scientist count each member of the chaotic colony on foot, using mechanical clickers, and scan them from above with high-tech drones. They want to know if the population of chinstrap penguins is dwindling on Elephant Island, as it is elsewhere in the region. Previously, our team led by Professor Hanumant Singh, utilized fine-scale mapping with autonomous drones to discover a previously unknown super colony of over 1,500,000 Adelie Penguins in the Danger islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip.

The researchers are traveling on Greenpeace ships from island to island across the Antarctic Peninsula, comparing different penguin populations to see how the animals are adapting to climate change. It is one of the fastest warming areas on Earth.

One nearby island, actually called Penguin Island, has seen its chinstrap population plunge by 75 percent over the past four decades. The numbers have dropped across the region as average temperatures have soared by more than five degrees over 50 years. That increase is about five-times the global average.

Related Faculty: Hanumant Singh

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering