Central Coast otters battle climate change

September 13, 2012

Sea otters are now being touted for helping to fight global warming, according to a pair of scientists from UC Santa Cruz. [MercuryNews]

The reasoning is really fairly simple: kelp removes carbon from the environment, sea urchins are ravenous creatures eating as much as 30 feet of kelp forests a month and the sea otter’s favorite food is urchin. So, more sea otters equal more vibrant undersea kelp forests and lower carbon dioxide levels, which have gone up 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution.

James Estes, a UCSC biologist, and Chris Wilmers, a UCSC environmental studies professor, found that if otters covered the globe, the resulting growth in kelp forests would strip 10 percent of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

However, because sea otter habitat only ranges along the West Coast of North America, with the number of otters off of California estimated at just more than 2,700, the actual impact is significantly lower.

More significant is how a species can impact an ecosystem, potentially playing an important role.

 


9 Comments

  1. Spirit Filled says:

    Me and about 439 fishermen would just hope that all the otters would be relocated, .Same thing with seals. They are in our way stealing bait and etc.

    Please please remove them now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  2. Black_Copter_Pilot says:

    Conditions on earth have always been in change.

    Whether directed by God, man or nature, one must adapt or die/go extinct.

    The blame game with mandatory controls really serves no purpose, unless you want to reign in China and India

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

    • Ted Slanders says:

      Black_Copter_Pilot,

      “Conditions on earth have always been in change.”

      Do you mean to tell us that throughout the earths existence, these “changes” therefore had to include the current atmospheric warming effects of man-made carbon dioxide emissions from factories, automobiles, etc.? Also, man’s deforestation, and the heat-trapping effects of chemical fertilizers and other chemicals being put into the atmosphere.

      To substantiate your argument, then the aforementioned entities that cause global warming NOW, also had to exist throughout the evolving of our Earth! Get it?

      We have to rewrite the Paleontology history of this planet post haste!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  3. shelworth says:

    Hey, maybe next summer the ocean will be warm enough to swim in!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  4. Ted Slanders says:

    For Christ’s sake, give the alleged global warming scenario a rest! We Hebrew-Christian God fearing Republicans know that the assertions of climate change is an invention by the hell bound DEMONcrats to justify more regulation to grow government even further!

    Regarding the protection of the oceans sea life, we Christians are aware that we have the authority to rule over the fish and mammals of the sea in any way we want, period! Therefore, let em die for the sake of profits for PG&E since most of us have stock in this company in one form or the other.

    Save the mumbo-jumbo Satanic Science of Global Warming for your Starbucks morning coffee clutch discussions. Our Hebrew-Christian God’s word relating to us ruling over the sea life will always trump secular science.

    “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, AND LET THEM RULE OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” ( Genesis 1:26 )

    “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. RULE OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ( Genesis 1:28 )

    Besides, let the true Christians put it in perspective. Even if global warming is true, and will eventually destroy this planet, we true Christians really don’t care because we have the Christian afterlife as our ace-in-the-hole. With the Christian’s mind set and biblical acceptances, who then really cares if this planet destroys itself? Get it? Praise Jesus!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 12

    • celebratepaso says:

      Yeah Ted, I hear you. Why worry about leaving a healthy ocean & wildlife for anyone who’s here after us? We’ll be sitting on a cloud somewhere, playing a harp. No worries ~ be happy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

      • celebratepaso says:

        Let me be clear here, I’m being facetious. It is selfish to only think of ourselves, leaving future generations with little sea life to enjoy. All of life plays its part in Earth’s cohesiveness.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

        • Ted Slanders says:

          celebratepaso,

          You were being facetious? Surely you jest?! Here I thought you were telling me the truth and acting like a Christian ususally does.

          At times, it’s so hard to tell if the alumni of this forum is actually being truthful in their claims. Sad indeed.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  5. celebratepaso says:

    All of our marine life plays a wonderful part in our eco-system. How horrific to kill/injure so many of them if PG&E is allowed to blast our local ocean every 16 seconds around the clock for a month. We must stand against this seismic testing so that it will be approved by the Fish & Game Commission on Sept. 24th & then passed on to the CA Coastal Commission for approval Oct. 10-12.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

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