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Emperor Penguins Counted From Space

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-the-penguins-you-can-eat dept.

Space 102

HairyNevus writes "An international team of scientists used satellite technology to conduct a census of emperor penguin populations from outer space. Honing in on their colonies by looking for the brown patches of penguin guano that stand out in the snowy antarctic, high resolution images were taken and used to count the total number of emperor penguin species on the continent. The result was a census of 595,000 penguins, almost double the previous estimates of 270,000-350,000 emperors. This includes seven new colonies which had not been previously identified. Although this is uplifting data, computer modeling still shows that loss of ice flows in the northern reaches could result in problems for the penguins."

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first posts counted from space (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689635)

1.

595,000 penguins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689637)

Most of them are browsing slashdot now, instead of spending time with their families or girlfriends.

But the real question remains unanswered... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689641)

Are they super-intelligent Hive-Mind Killer Penguins planning to take over the world?

They are headed North...straight towards humanity.

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690293)

Nope, and not blind albino penguins sharing a cave with a shoggoth the size of a train either.

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (1)

petman (619526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39697953)

What about tap-dancing penguins?

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (2)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690907)

They are headed North...straight towards humanity.

Ah, where the hoomans are. Even after RTFA I couldn't work out exactly where the northern reaches of Antarctica were.

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691493)

The coasts, perhaps?

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (2)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693997)

Really, all of it's north of the middle spot. Every last bit. Odd thing that.

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39692491)

They are headed North...straight towards humanity.

You see, when you live in the Antarctica, your traveling options are kind of limited. Go visit the South Pole, stand on top of it and try go anywhere else then towards north. Try going west, for example. You'll have a lot of fun.

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693333)

That's how I explain it to people who ask question such as "What was before the Big Bang?". The question doesn't make any sense because time was created at the same time than the Big Bang. It's exactly like asking "What is farther south than the south pole ?!?". And yes, I've been there just to check [gdargaud.net] ... C;-)

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693799)

And yes, I've been there just to check [gdargaud.net] ... C;-)

Your pics from a 300 Club event or it didn't happen! :D

(BTW, is the answer "136.575 Kelvins"?)

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39695303)

Your pics from a 300 Club event or it didn't happen! :D

(BTW, is the answer "136.575 Kelvins"?)

Here [gdargaud.net] (in 1996) and here [gdargaud.net] (in 2005). Happy ?

You mean -136.575 Celsius, right ? C;-)

Re:But the real question remains unanswered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39696525)

Wait, let me get this straight... time was created? By whom?

Ice floes, not ice flows (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689687)

nt

Re:Ice floes, not ice flows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691279)

Rain falls.
Wind blows.
Fire burns.
Ice Flows.
-Leeloo.

I don't believe it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689707)

This study is a bunch of shit.

Let us hope there will be a Linux joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689715)

It would be so unexpected. :|

You kjnow Torvalds, penguins, Linux, Tux... Eh?

595,000 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689719)

Now we know the exact number of Linux desktop users world-wide.

Re:595,000 (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39692249)

Nah, it's just that 2012 is the year of the Emperor Penguin on the Antarctic plateau.

Should have enlisted the NSA (0, Offtopic)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689743)

Man, with the NSA's latest spy satellites, they could have totally counted the fleas and lice infesting the fur of those emepror penguins! Probably give them all prostate exams at the same time!

Rant off...I just hate how everyone out there assumes that since it's the NSA paying for the satellites, they must somehow have sensors so good as to evade basic equations for the resolving power of a lens. Not to mentioned the fundamental problem that the more the satellite can zoom in on an area and resolve details, the smaller the area that it can be scanning simultaneously. So, even if the satellite could see the fleas on a penguin, it would only be able to view a few penguins at a time at that resolution and it would take it years to count a million of them.

This is why there are probably not satellites watching you right now, personally, even if the government had the technological ability to track you this way.

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689909)

nah they already got plenty of forms to track you. they no longer have to see you they can just infrared imaging or use large vans with gamma xray scanners..

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690047)

Birds with fur? Did you graduate from public school?

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690515)

Public school students perform just as well as private school students. Often better.

In related news, American children generally hold their own against (or best) their overseas counterparts.

But keep pushing those twenty-year-old myths.

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (2)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690739)

Birds with fur? Did you graduate from public school?

If that blows your mind, see this: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-plains-mo/THPIF1N4OJTH3ODJA [topix.com]

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691337)

Birds with fur? Did you graduate from public school?

If that blows your mind, see this: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-plains-mo/THPIF1N4OJTH3ODJA [topix.com]

Did he graduate from public school as well?

Re:Should have enlisted the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691571)

epic fail

Who cares. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689749)

Wake me when there are enough of them that they're considered a nuisance and hunting season is opened.

Highly conservative estimate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689767)

Other sources indicate that there are almost 60 million penguins [linuxcounter.net]

Re:Highly conservative estimate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689865)

I heard the opposite and that the number is highly inflated because they happened upon the santorum laced campground of commandertaco and the rest of his lovers aka the /. staff.

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689769)

In Soviet Russia:

An international team of emperor penguins used scientist populations from outer space to conduct a census of satellite technology. ... wait, what?

In other news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689859)

The most expensive alternative to counting sheep has been developed.

Species (4, Insightful)

adam.voss (1854938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689913)

the total number of emperor penguin species on the continent.

Can a satellite really tell us the number is not 1?

Re:Species (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691197)

mod misfire

translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689947)

Although this is uplifting data, computer modeling still shows we all must continue to vote Democrat.

A Defeat for Al Gore (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39689949)

That the study was published at all may be a reassuring sign that the global-warming-castrophe madness at the National Science Foundation and the bullying of the idiot Albert Arnold Gore may be coming to an end. At least for this battle, Al Gore lost a big one.

There are many battles ahead of us in order to restore sanity to the US government.

next question... (2)

notgm (1069012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689951)

how many shoggoths?

Re:next question... (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691747)

One. But it looks like many.

Re:next question... (2)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39694075)

Now you've got me wondering what the maximum resolution of a shoggoth's eye complex is, if it puts every bit of pseudo-protoplasm it can into forming eyes. What's the maximum light gathering area for a 40 cubic meter volume typical shoggoth, and does it compare favorably with the Hubble, the Keck telescopes or the very long baseline array? Can a shoggoth count the satellites in orbit? And does it want to eat them? Can a satellite fail a 1D20 sanity roll? And how could we tell?

I like major news site summary better (-1, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689955)

Satellite Imaging Doubles Number of Emperor Penguins My schooling had taught me only cold, feathery, panting-fish-breath penguin sex could do that. A wonderful solution to Japan's imploding population presents itself, just take satellite images of the populace to double it, and thus half of Japanese men can continue to be virgins jerking off to hentai without the bother of trying to seduce a woman.

Counting seems like an "easy" problem (2)

ninjackn (1424235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689957)

The video in the article mentions that the computer does most of the counting and I get the feeling that surveying animal count from aerial photographs might only work with penguins in Antarctica. It's relatively easy to distinguish between snow, poop and penguin from a computer vision algorithm stand point seeing how it boils down to distinguishing between black or brownish spots with little noise from other unwanted objects. Not that I'm trying to say it's trivial to program it but it it's a lot simpler problem than say counting people in a city from space or cars.

Re:Counting seems like an "easy" problem (3, Informative)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690105)

From the paper [plosone.org] :

Emperor penguins show
as single or multiple pixels in the panchromatic band. Where
penguins are dispersed, individuals can be identified and counted.
However, in the majority of cases penguins group into close
clusters and their shadows overlap, meaning that individuals
cannot be differentiated and a different approach is needed.

So it's not really as easy as it may first appear.

Boring. (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39689985)

It would have been MUCH cooler had they counted Gentoo Penguins from space.

Penguin Guano? (1, Redundant)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690009)

Is guano produced by others or is "penguin guano" redundant?

Re:Penguin Guano? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690027)

Guano is probably most often used to refer to bat guano, but sometimes for various birds too.

Re:Penguin Guano? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690059)

Guano is generally construed as being the excrement of seabirds (under which penguins are classified), bats, and seals. So, no, "penguin guano" is not redundant, as it distinguishes it from the guano of non-penguin seabirds, bats or seals.

I'll go into bat for this one (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690335)

Bats, equitorial seabirds, arctic seabirds and many things that crap in one place in large volumes produce guano. It is a word cool and exotic enough to be in a list of ingredients for an energy drink, but it really does just mean deposits of crap that have built up over a long time. In some places it's a valuble resource due to it being a easily obtained source of nitrogen for fertilizer and explosives. In the days of gunpowder it was paticularly valuble and was apparently a major source of income for countries like Chile.

Re:I'll go into bat for this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690445)

Organic gunpowder, here we come!!

Re:I'll go into bat for this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39692161)

By 'crap' you mean 'shit', and by the ingredient in energy drink you mean 'guarana', or perhaps 'guava'.

I hope that was an ironic +4 Informative.

Re:I'll go into bat for this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39692693)

You need to work on your reading comprehension. He said that the word is "cool and exotic enough to be in a list of ingredients for an energy drink" not that it does in fact appear in a list of ingredients for an energy drink. The reason it doesn't appear in any energy drinks that I'm aware of is not that the word is insufficiently cool or exotic.

You are correct, however, that "crap" is a synonym for "shit". Well done on that one.

Sorry to confuse you by using English slang (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693283)

Why do people fail to comprehend what they read and then decide they need to "correct" it? The words "It is a word cool and exotic enough to be in a list of ingredients for an energy drink" should have been the clue instead of the cause of confusion. Guarana, taurine, or a similar trace of pointless fairy dust might as well be bat guano because the name is the important thing instead of the lack of effect or lack of contribution to the taste.
Crap is just as valid a word as "shit" in English.

Re:Penguin Guano? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693365)

The funny thing is that I keep getting asked about penguin poop [gdargaud.net] ... And now they've found a use for it (counting them).

More but still "global warming" (0)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690011)

Amazing....MORE of something but, still they keep up with the "man made" global warming BS.

Re:More but still "global warming" (1)

zerobeat (628744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690755)

Well I dont know if you are serious... but an increase in population could be expected for some species due to global warming. The only expected outcome from there being nor global climate change is populations would stay the same.

Re:More but still "global warming" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691641)

There are not more penguins, the estimate of how many there are has been revised upward due to a better method of estimating the population. Not due to any environmental factors.

Not understanding that and thinking this has any bearing on a Global Warming discussion is why you should not be allowed to have an opinion about that subject.

I couldn't help it (5, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690031)

I got this picture of a Google Earth car driving through a group of penguins.

Double the number? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690033)

They're COMING!

Re:Double the number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690061)

They're COMING!

That's what she said!

Re:Double the number? (1)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690399)

looks like the software counted the shadows of the penguins too, ending up double the number!

emperor penguins from outer space (3, Funny)

cayce (189143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690041)

And I, for one, welcome our new penguin alien overlords.

Re:emperor penguins from outer space (1)

garryknight (1190179) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691701)

Damn! I came here to say that! :-)

Count Them From Orbit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690049)

It's the only way to be sure.

How do they know? (5, Funny)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690083)

An international team of scientists used satellite technology to conduct a census of emperor penguin populations from outer space

How do you tell which ones are from outer space?

Re:How do they know? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690153)

>How do you tell which ones are from outer space?

The ones that do the counting. (Emporer penguins counted from outerspace)

pictures from space = bad (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690191)

well if you saw the pictures I seriously doubt that this is accurate

the "image recognition" is basically counting blocks (with attributes) its not very good (I've seen it)

the satellite imagery from space was awful resolution... they need to learn from search and rescue basically they need to gather their search pattern from the satellite and then fly a plane/helicopter/drone (U2 plane would be best) over and take the imagery and do a count based on that...

I think everyone was assuming the imagery was like google earth but in fact most of that is taken from planes etc...

looks like Press release rather than a serious count

however does anyone know of any good pre built image recognition tools to actually count animals ?

regards

John Jones

 

Re:pictures from space = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690289)

You would think someone that knew so much about the image recognition would already know of good image recognition tools

Re:pictures from space = bad (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691345)

animals are different from finding static targets... but you knew that...

Re:How do they know? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690307)

LOL! Well done!
I would have replied sooner, but a mishap* caused an unavoidable delay.

* I almost swallowed my false teeth, you insensitive clod!
Let me tell ya, it's not easy performing a Heimlich maneuver on yourself using the back of a swiveling, reclining, office chair on wheels....on a slick tile floor, while spewing beer out of the nose!

Good thing I took a double shot of Geritol this morning!!!! ;-)

A terrible waste of good beer, though....

Re:How do they know? (1)

devitto (230479) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691739)

Duh. The ones with pointy ears.

So, let's do Censuses more cheaply from now on... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690093)

We could just have "go out & be counted" days, ie, to see how many people we are on Earth.

Of, for public opinion surveys (& citizen initated referenda), to vote, say, In Favor, you'd go out to have the top of your head photographed, in a Hi-Res satellite image. :-)

These mechanisms have -none- of the security issues of eVoting systems I've read about (except the PhotoShop issues, I guess).

And they'd be pretty hard to dispute, by dictators, if their elections were held by such means.

Shall we call this: [Non-E-]Crowd-Voting? :-)

Oh, we'd have to be careful - eg, when publishing & implmenting "photo / voting-times" - for survey or election districts cut by time-zone boundaries. ;-)

HIGH RISK SITUATION (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690155)

The Fart Prediction Center (FPC) in Norman, OK has issued a HIGH RISK FART ADVISORY for the areas immediately surrounding Joliet, Illinois. This area is the home to Vladinator and Reza Lockwood. Vlad weighs about 400 pounds, and Reza weighs about 800. The Lockwoods just welcomed a newborn infant, Marticock Lockwood.

This situation is grave because each Lockwood is individually capable of fatal farts, but Doppler radar indicates that they ate at a "Chi-Chis" restaurant tonight. This means that there is a high risk of life-threatening flatulence around the Joliet area tonight. Vlad, Reza, and Marticock are all terrible people but their farts are even worse. Visit fartcenter.gov for critical tips on protecting your family.

Obligatory Grammar Nazi (4, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690223)

There's no such phrase as "honing in" on something.

That phrase is similar to "intensive purposes", in that it results from a perpetuated mishearing of another phrase. You can "home in" on something - the phrase is "homing in". But to 'hone' means to sharpen (one's blade, one's skills, one's wit etc.)

I am sure some will find some links that suggest that it's such a common mishearing that it has now become acceptable, but I don't agree. Both the Merriam-Webster (for US English) and the OED (for UK/Commonwealth English) state that "hone in" is an error.

enough with advertising masquerading as stories (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690315)

i'm sorry slashdot, i don't care how much rovio paid you, "angry birds space" is not something we need plastered...

oh wait, never mind

Space penguins (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690359)

Is this a new thing? Are they taking over our bases? What do they want!!!!

Re:Space penguins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39694715)

They are here to take over our desktops. Or they might wait until next year.

New unproven approach yields new data. Hmm. (1)

popo (107611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690395)

I'm deeply suspicious whenever a new unproven methodologies yield wildly different data than previous methodologies.

Was the methodology itself tested against known quantities?

Re:New unproven approach yields new data. Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690487)

Sorry, there were no known quantities to test it against, save for synthetic test data. I'm sure they've tested their algorithms way ahead of shelling out the money for satellite imagery.

stupid editors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690427)

"computer modeling still shows that loss of ice flows in the northern reaches could result in problems for the penguins."
there are no penguins in the north, they are all in the south hemisphere..

Re:stupid editors... (2)

zerobeat (628744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690733)

I think the northern reaches they are referring to are the northern areas of antarctica. Naturally this is where the loss of ice flows is happening first.

What I want to know is... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690451)

...did the penguins topple over backwards as they watched the satellite pass overhead? (OK I know it's a popular myth, long propagated by bored RAF pilots and long debunked by British Antarctic Survey experiments, but it's still a funny image).

Isnt the answer 1? (1)

zerobeat (628744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690495)

high resolution images were taken and used to count the total number of emperor penguin species on the continent

Since emperor penguins are a species, how can they count more than one species of Emperor Penguin?

limitation (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690521)

It isn't mentioned in the article but the technology isn't yet advanced enough to count the penguins while they are moving, so the satellite had to kill them all using a death ray. They hope to have this problem resolved for next years census, which is predicted to be much quicker.

Computer models- Bah! Humbug! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690567)

I've been dealing with computer models (my own and others) since about 1980. They have a way of taking a tiny error and amplifying it beyond all reason.

It's bad enough when you are dealing with a relatively simple system like, for instance, an airplane. The occasional airplane falls out of the air for reasons no one can figure out but the design models usually work pretty well*. For something that is really complex, like the climate for instance, models usually have zero skill at predicting the future. People using computer models to bolster their alarmist propaganda (about penguins or anything else) should be strung up by the thumbs.

*The aviation industry has fallen in love with model-based design for their avionics. The trouble is that there is no way to predict every eventuality and include it in the requirements document. If a case isn't in the requirements document, it isn't dealt with. If that case arises during the operation of the airplane then the avionics won't react properly. Climate models are magnitudes worse. They are tuned with fudge factors that nobody can explain except by saying that they make the model fit the data. Of course once the model extrapolates into the future it usually doesn't fit the data any more. Bah! Humbug!

Reason: Whales (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690601)

One reason the population of penguins is increasing, is because of the huge reduction in the baleen whale population in the Southern Ocean. Baleen whales and penguins compete for the same krill, so fewer whales means a lot more food for the penguins. When the whale populations rebound, the penguins population will return to normal.

Re:Reason: Whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39694039)

One reason the population of penguins is increasing, is because of the huge reduction in the baleen whale population in the Southern Ocean. Baleen whales and penguins compete for the same krill, so fewer whales means a lot more food for the penguins. When the whale populations rebound, the penguins population will return to normal.

Ugh. I can only guess this was modded interesting because of the "interesting" premises/terms in your syllogism.

A couple of things:

1) Baleen whales and emperor penguins rarely (if ever) "compete for the same krill". Emperor penguins' primary food source is the Antarctic Silverfish [wikipedia.org] , not krill. Emperors will eat krill, but it is no where near the top of their menu.

2) TFA does NOT state that the [emperor] penguin population is increasing. TFA merely notes that we now have a new tool to count emperor penguins, and data from the new tool suggests our previous estimation of baseline penguin population was way off. Just because we now have a higher baseline estimate doesn't mean emperor population is increasing.

The conclusion "When the whale populations rebound, the penguins population will return to normal" can't be supported, because it is based on faulty premises.

I used to work with that U of MN group (3, Funny)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39690679)

They know their shit. Solid scientists.

Re:I used to work with that U of MN group (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39692581)

Unfortunately, they are also completely bat-guano crazy.

JUDAS PRIEST "4 THE PENGUINS" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690683)

"Up here in space - I'm lookin' down on U. My lasers trace everything U do! You think you've private lives? Think NOTHING OF THE KIND! There is no true escape, I'm watching ALL THE TIME!! I'm made of metal - my circuits gleam! I AM PERPETUAL I KEEP THE COUNTRY CLEAN: I'm electric... Electric Spy. I'm protected (ELECTRIC EYE!!!). Always in focus: Can't kill my stare - I ZOOM INTO YOU (but you don't know I'm there). I take pride in probing ALL YOUR SECRET MOVES... my 'tearless retina' takes pictures that can prove..."

APK

P.S.=> By the way - I don't mean "Linux Penguins" either... apk

Re:JUDAS PRIEST "4 THE PENGUINS" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39690695)

I say we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691101)

nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

BONUS: captcha METEOR

Scary (2)

Mathness (145187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691371)

That scares me, emperor penguins must be the most dangerous creature on Earth if they can only be counted from space.

World Domination foiled (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39691577)

Damn, now breeding even more genetically modified penguins for taking over the world has become to risky...

Usual Climate Malarkey (1)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39691587)

You gotta love the spin on this.

Facts:
- scientists count birds, find twice as many as previous counts/expectations (TFA doesn't say whether the original estimates were counts or just estimates)

So if they found twice as many birds as they previously counted/estimated, and climate change has been going on for 20/50/200 years, surely the penguins are in fact benefiting from climate change?

Seems logical to me. They live in a extreme environment, climate change will make it less extreme, therefore they should benefit. There must be something on the planet that benefits from it getting warmer after all, and penguins would seem to be a logical candidate.

But that would go against the media message that climate change is universally bad for everything. *sigh*.

This is useful science, it's a new tool for actually counting animal populations as opposed to guessing their populations by estimating the amount of habitat they have to live in. It'd be great if we could just have the science, reported with no spin or political message, just 'hey science fans, here's something new!'. ...but science is now a political tool, so no, every serving of facts now wrapped in a handy hygienic message so you know what to think!

Re:Usual Climate Malarkey (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39693405)

Why do you have to spin this ? Everybody knows that climate change is not 'universally bad'. Places like Canada and Siberia are very likely to benefit from it. As for getting different numbers of penguins from two DIFFERENT methods, it doesn't tell you anything about the effect of global warming. You need to compare numbers obtained from the same method. Since this method is new, it's a non sequitur.

Disproving Dire Predictions Based on Models ... (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39692325)

... based on incomplete information, while insisting that the models are still valid and the situation is still dire. What is more likely is that the penguins will adapt to their environmental changes ... as they have for millenia. Remember? They didn't just arrive on the planet and occupy their niche a few years ago.

Love the science but am mightily weary of doom and gloom alarmist extrapolations to secure funding or public interest.

I wonder if, in the penguin colonies, there are alarmist penguins saying that if they continue to procreate there will be no unstained snow left for little penguins to play in.

if, if, IF ... Can we get a figure on error? (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39692415)

If the climate models are correct
and if the ice shelves behave according to their models
and if predators move in to the niche (presumably according to some model)
and if, importantly, the penguins themselves in no way adapt to the changing situation
then the penguins MAY be affected.

Each 'if' contributes an error that makes for a big margin over all. Why not just say, 'we really don't know what this means for the future, but we're hoping to develop a better understanding of the present' ... and nothing more.

Re:if, if, IF ... Can we get a figure on error? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39694193)

Short form: If we move some polar bears to the south pole, they will have plenty of food to survive. The Penguins WILL be affected. If we put the penguins in cute little Purina Polar Bear Chow red and white checked tee-shirts they will be affected more rapidly.

FML (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39694345)

"Two-hundred-thousand and four... two-hundred-thousand and five..."

"Okay, so that's a six-piece nugget for Dave, two large vanilla shakes for me 'n Joe... Tim? What did you want, makin' a lunch run."

"One... sec... two-hundred-thousand and si--"

"Mike, you're grabbing lunch? Cool, get me two apple pies."

"They have strawberry too, now."

"Ooh, then two of each--four total."

"Two-hundred-pies and four... oh god."

Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39695593)

"even though Penguin populations are up, computer models show there could still be catastrophic global warming"

"even though the Greenland ice sheet is the largest it has been in recorded history, computer models show there could still be catastrophic global warming"

"even though the average global temperature has been in rapid decline since 1997, computer models show there could still be catastrophic global warming"

"even though polar bear population has been growing in recent years, computer models show there could still be catastrophic global warming"

"Even though 2011 was much colder than average, computer models show there could still be catastrophic global warming"

When are you cap & trade idiots going to stop it with this contrived bullshit?

Sweet, hunting time! (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39697671)

This is really awesome news, I've always wanted to shoot an emperor, but they won't let me into Japan for some reason.

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