State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Adelie penguins

Bird watching. Credit: Caroline Lavoie
Bird watching. Credit: Caroline Lavoie

The nice folks up on the bridge always give us a call when they see wildlife. Then we all grab our cameras and rush out to our favorite spots to try and photograph whatever creatures have come to visit.

I’m no biologist, but seeing so many beautiful animals has made me curious. So I’ve been doing a little reading and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about some of our favorite visitors, the Adelie penguins. This photo of the Adelies was taken a few days ago by Caroline Lavoie.

Adelies are only 30 inches tall and weigh about 11 pounds. But millions of years ago, there were penguins that stood 5 feet tall and weighed 200 pounds! They’re not alive today, and I’m having trouble imagining them.

While many of us associate penguins with Antarctica, they’re actually spread all over the Southern Hemisphere, with a few living right on the equator. There are seventeen species of penguins, but only Adelies and emperor penguins live exclusively in Antarctica.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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