The weather, currently.
After a dramatic end to Tuesday with afternoon and overnight thunderstorms, today will be cloudy and wet again, with a high chance of showers increasing in the afternoon and into the evening. The evenings are getting warmer, with overnight lows both last night and tonight not dipping below 15°C. Today’s top will be a lovely 21°C, before our temperatures head back into the high teens for the rest of the week. The UV index will be high at 8. This rain is set to continue, and flood watches remain in place across the state. Major flood warnings are in place for the Murray and Loddon Rivers, and moderate warnings for the Seven and Broken Creeks, and the Goulburn, Snowy, Cann and Campaspe Rivers. Minor warnings are in place for the Barwon, Ovens and King, Kiewa, Werribee, Avoca, Genoa and Upper Murray Rivers.
— Megan Herbert
What you need to know, currently.
Emperor penguins are now endangered due to the climate crisis, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared Tuesday, granting the species federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
“This listing reflects the growing extinction crisis,” Martha Williams, the federal wildlife agency’s director, said in a statement. “Climate change is having a profound impact on species around the world.”
The emperor penguin is the tallest and bulkiest of all the world’s penguins and is the only animal that can withstand the Antarctic winter to breed. Despite their strength, they face almost complete annihilation by the end of the century, if global warming is not drastically reduced. As temperatures continue to warm, sea ice melts and capsizes these penguins’ habitat.
The waters around and beneath the sea ice are essential to the penguins’ survival, as an area for feeding. The ice is important as well, as it’s a place for the animals to rest, breed, protect their eggs and escape from predators.
Climate change is said to be responsible for the death of the second largest known emperor colony, Halley Bay, in 2016, where more than 10,000 chicks died when sea ice broke earlier than expected. The chicks hadn’t learned to swim yet and drowned. The colony still has not recovered.
However, things could still change for the emperor penguins and other Antarctic animals.
“[Federal protections are] a big win for these beloved, iconic penguins and all of us who want them to thrive,” said Shaye Wolf, Ph.D., the Center for Biological Diversity’s climate science director. “At the same time, this decision is a warning that emperor penguins need urgent climate action if they’re going to survive. The penguin’s very existence depends on whether our government takes strong action now to cut climate-heating fossil fuels and prevent irreversible damage to life on Earth.”
What you can do, currently.