Currently in Los Angeles — October 26th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Sunny skies

I like the weather we’ve been having these past few days. It’s the kind of steady, sunny atmosphere that we usually don’t think much about. We take these days for granted, only thinking of them after they pass, so spend your time today really feeling this calm in your body. What does a high of 72°F feel like? How many times do you need to put on your sunglasses? If you’re running late to an appointment, are you actually running, or are you strolling and noting the croaks from ravens on telephone polls? When the sun disappears, are you cold? Is your denim jacket the perfect amount of cozy? Will you even notice that temperatures have fallen into the 60s? Will you be content under your blankets when lows reach 55°F?

—Renée Reizman

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.”

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.

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