Changes in wind cause the giant albatross to find food faster and on average has become a kilo heavier.
Scientists conclude that in the magazine Science. They studied the data of giant albatrosses in the South Indian Ocean.
Faster at home
The researchers followed the giant alarms while they searched for food and saw that their route has changed in recent years. The females moved more towards the poles with a lot of wind. Thanks to that wind they traveled a lot faster. And because the distance they traveled did not increase, they were ready earlier and could return to their eggs earlier. This also made the boy do better.
The changing wind is a direct consequence of the changing climate, researcher Henri Weimerskirch explains to us when asked. "The loss of ozone in the stratosphere has made the vortex (a ring of winds around the South Pole) stronger and changed the weather patterns above the continent." percent have increased.
The scientists also discovered that both the male and female giant albatrosses have on average become a kilo heavier. That would not only be because they have to work less hard for their food. It can also be an extra protection against the wind.
Although the giant albatrosses can now get food faster thanks to the wind, it has not been proven that the weather remains favorable. “Albatrosses, and in particular giant albatrosses, are an endangered species. Until now they have been threatened by fishing. Climate change now partly compensates for that negative effect. Predictions from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) indicate that the situation is less pleasant in the future. ”The westerly winds are becoming stronger and therefore they are no longer suitable for flying in with the albatrosses. And then the birds have to fly further to get food.