Flight in the Southern Ocean on the Back Burner, Warming

August 21, 2014

Through his conservation work, Steve Zack, WCS Coordinator of Bird Conservation, has learned quite a bit about the Southern Ocean and the seabirds that call it home. Since he began his work in 1990, these species and the environment they live in have come under significant threats.

Penguins fly and albatross don't really.

In their southern world, dominated by wind and ice and water, penguins fly in the water while albatross rarely power their flight; they glide.

I learned this and more a quarter century ago when I visited their cold ocean and continent of ice and prepared a short series of lectures to the Yale alumni cruising to the Antarctic in December of 1990. The lectures were the dues I paid to join the trip.

Since then, I have updated my notes on that wondrous part of the world as I have become aware of new studies of these birds and their changing environment.

Antarctica wasn't always cold and remote from the rest of the world. It was part of the great southern continent block, Gondwana, binding what would become Australia, South America, Africa, and India together.

Read the full blog by Steve Zack on the Huffington Post >>
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