Citing a "catastrophic breeding failure," a new study says the world's second largest emperor penguin colony, which once hosted up to 25,000 pairs of penguins, has seen virtually no births since 2016, when thousands of chicks drowned after the collapse of an Antarctic ice sheet. In a dispiritingly common refrain these days, scientists say the unexpectedly rapid decline - of both ice and penguins- is "not good news."
This is speculation, but aside from climate change and ocean acidification, is ANY research at all being done at all on stress on species from the direct-effects of high CO2 in the air? Almost all multicellular life forms in their current state have respiratory and metabolic systems that evolved under CO2 concentration of never higher than the low 300s ppm.
Yet, is seems our powerful economic leaders are absolutely resolute in driving the CO2 to over 1000 ppm by 2100, and 2000 ppm by 2250 - easily accomplishable with the already existing proven and economically very profitable reserves of oil, gas and coal.
Think of what this means. Aquatic mammals and penguins and puffins rely on being able to hold their breath for very long times to eat. Many birds rely on very efficient respiratory systems - particularly the extraction of CO2 from their blood, for their huge energy expenditures in flight (that is why canaries were used as sensitive detectors of bad air in coal mines). The rudimentary open-circuit-diffusion reparatory system of insects simply fail to work at all over a certain CO2 concentration - and those system are evolved under the low CO2 conditions since the end of the Pleistocene.
And humans? Well, there has already been studies that show that human cognitive skills already starts to be significantly degrade by the time 1000 ppm is reached and indoor air levels are often at least twice (in crowded rooms, many times) the levels of outdoor air.
The Emperor penguins are not reproducing, and their ice shelfs are melting—and sadly, humans are on very thin ice too. Maybe in the end, humans will end up being dead birds too-----humans will be the real Dodos. : (