Luc Jacquet’s documentary film March of the Penguins — due out this July — follows emperor penguins’ travails as they struggle
|Baby penguin reaches for food
Photo by Guillaume Dargaud
to mate and to raise a family in the harsh Antarctic. Faced with winds reaching some 90 MPH, the females march over 70 miles and back to find food. Yet, nature’s sheer forces aren’t penguins’ only challenge. Mounting evidence suggests that global warming — as well as a proposed solution to confront global warming — will bring even more peril to penguins and other species across the planet.
The phenomenon of the greenhouse effect is fairly straightforward. As solar rays heat Earth’s surface, part of the energy forms into infra- red radiation. Much of that is absorbed by molecules of CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere and reflected back to the surface as heat. The gaseous molecules thus act like a greenhouse’s glass panes by retaining the sun’s warmth. Too much heat retention can make Earth another Venus, steaming and unlivable for virtually all animal species