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Thousands of penguin chicks in Antarctica disappeared overnight: scientists

Emperor penguins on the Brunt Ice Shelf should the sea-ice to remain until they are ready to swim in order to survive.
(Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Thousands of penguin chicks from a colony in Antarctica virtually disappeared overnight three years ago when a storm destroyed the sea-ice they were to be increased, drowning them, according to a report.

Emperor penguins on the Brunt Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea, patches of sea ice to breed and the ice should remain in place until the young chicks are ready to swim. If it breaks too early, they will drown, that is apparently what happened in 2016, BBC News reported. The disappearance was discovered by a team from the British Antarctic Survey, which is documented by means of satellite imagery.

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Strong wind hollowed out the sea ice in 2016, and it is never properly reformed, scientists said. The Emperors have shown no sign of trying to breed back on, and some have left for other breeding grounds in Antarctica. Experts are not sure why the sea ice is still not reformed and that there is no clear sign of the cause of climate change. Research shows, however, that the disappearance of the sea ice can reduce the emperor penguin population by as much as 70 percent by the end of the century, according to the report.

Even if the penguin chicks haven’t been killed by the decrease of the sea ice, an iceberg twice the size of New York City set to break out of the closet would probably destroy the existing sea ice, BBC reported.

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The Antarctic Emperor colony between five and nine percent of the world’s population

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