50% of the colonies of the iconic Emperor penguin and 75% Adelie penguin colonies face marked decline or disappearance if global temperature is allowed to rise 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Currently, approximately 50% of Emperor penguin colonies, representing almost 40% of the total world population, as well as 75% of colonies and about 70% of the total world population of Adélie penguins exist north of 70° S. The significant lessening of sea ice projected at these latitudes by 2025-2070, should have negative effects on these colonies. Therefore, by the time mean global atmospheric temperature rises to 2°C above pre-industrial levels – a possibility that could take place in fewer than 40 years – we can expect major reductions and changes in the abundance and distribution of pack-ice penguins.
The only way to significantly reduce the risks of climate change in Antarctica as well as globally is to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific findings are clearly showing that emissions reduction must be much stronger than currently planned if dangerous global impacts of climate change are to be avoided. Even with ambitious emission cuts, however, damages will be large: any impact that occurs below a global atmospheric temperature rise of 1°C is now unavoidable. It is imperative that action is taken to conserve ecosystems in their changed environment and help them build resilience against the effects of climate change. Research shows that depleted ecosystems have the least resilience to changing climate.
Information extracted from http://www.wwf.or.jp/activities/lib/pdf_climate/environment/FOLLETO_INGLES.pdf