British-based podcasts

Antarctica Penguins

Level 1

Antarctica is a continent. Scientists study penguins in Antarctica. They find out that the number of penguins goes down. Some populations go down by more than 75% in the last 50 years. The situation is very serious.

Scientists believe that the biggest problem is climate change. Water in oceans is warmer. Ice in Antarctica melts. Sea-ice declines. This is not good for some animals that live there.

Penguins eat krill. Krill are very small animals. They are food for big fish and penguins, too.

Warmer water is a problem for krill. It kills the krill. There is not enough krill for penguins. Penguins die because they do not have enough food.

Difficult words: population (a large group of animals, plants, or people), climate change (a change of weather and temperature on Earth), melt (to change into water), decline ( decrease, become less).

Level 2

Scientists in the Antarctic studied groups of penguins. Antarctica is a southern continent which shelters many penguins. They say that penguin populations are decreasing. Scientists found out that in some groups, the number of penguins went down by more than 75% in the last 50 years. This can lead to an environmental disaster.

Scientists believe that the main reason why this is happening is climate change. Ocean temperatures are going up and sea ice is dramatically melting. This is a problem for krill which is the main source of food for penguins.

The situation in the Antarctic is very serious. Many animals are dying because their natural habitat is changing. This is a problem on the food chain and on penguin populations, too.

Difficult words: dramatically (greatly, to a large extent), krill (very small animals that live in the sea and they are food for large fish and penguins), habitat (the place where animals or plants live), food chain (living things that are connected with each other because each animal eats one and also is food for another animal).

Level 3

Antarctic penguins could be threatened by food shortages in the Southern Ocean. Therefore, Penguin populations in parts of the Antarctic are declining. Independent researchers accompanied Greenpeace on a recent expedition, and the researchers reported that some colonies have declined by more than 75% in the last 50 years.

Researchers believe that the underlying cause of the decline is climate change. Accordingly, Antarctica’s penguins are thought to be particularly vulnerable to climate change. They are losing their main food source, krill, because ocean temperatures are rising, and sea ice is melting. The decline is very serious, with a 77% drop recorded in the Chinstrap penguin colony since the last survey in 1971.

This data suggests that the ecosystem in the region has dramatically changed and the changes affect the food chain.

Difficult words: shelter (protect or shield from something harmful),  underlying (basic), krill (very small animals with a hard shell that live in the sea and are eaten by large fish and seabirds), colony (a group of animals such as penguins), ecosystem (all the living things in an area and the way they affect each other and the environment).

 

 

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