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September 18, 2012

Can Sea Otters Save the World from Global Warming?

A new study by two UC Santa Cruz researchers suggests that a thriving sea otter population that keeps sea urchins in check will in turn allow kelp forests to prosper. The spreading kelp can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than if it were subject to ravenous sea urchins. Researchers gathered 40 years worth of data on otters and kelp blooms from Vancouver Island to the western edge of Alaska's Aleutian Islands.


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