After a recent meeting on kelp forests and climate change, Byrnes, Cavanaugh, and other colleagues set out to consolidate all of the available kelp forest data from around the world. A steady increase in ocean temperatures — nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit in recent decades — was all it took to doom the once-luxuriant giant kelp forests of eastern Australia and Tasmania: Thick canopies that once covered much of the region’s coastal sea surface have wilted in intolerably warm and nutrient-poor water. The impacts of predator loss and climate change are combining to devastate living reefs that have defined Alaskan kelp forests for centuries, according to new research published in Science. Within the California Current, a large marine current that spans the west coast of North America, giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) form towering canopies that provide important habitat, food, and refuge for a diversity of organisms. In ideal conditions, kelp can grow up to 18 inches per day, and in stark contrast to the colorful and slow-growing corals, the giant kelp canopies tower above the ocean floor. Kelp forests don’t just play a fundamental role in curbing climate change. While forests have long been considered the best natural defense in the battle against climate change, researchers have found that seaweed is … The Climate Foundation is a partner on Cayne Layton’s project for climate-resilient kelp, and Von Herzen is a major player in the field of marine permaculture, a type of open-ocean seaweed farming that mimics wild kelp forests to regenerate marine ecosystems, boost food security and sequester carbon. They wanted to take a step toward understanding how climate change is affecting kelp globally, but they quickly discovered they had a sparse patchwork of information. The Climate Foundation is a partner on Cayne Layton’s project for climate-resilient kelp, and Von Herzen is a major player in the field of “ marine permaculture,” a type of open-ocean seaweed farming that mimics wild kelp forests to regenerate marine ecosystems, boost food security and sequester carbon. By Crystal Ng Kelp forests are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, providing several natural resources that are economically important. Climate change could lead to declines of underwater kelp forests through impacts on their microbiome. The giant kelp forests off … Sea urchins like kelp - a lot - and, if their populations get too big, they may graze a kelp forest to death; if they remain, they may also inhibit the kelp's ability to grow again in that area. Also like a terrestrial forest, kelp forests experience seasonal changes. Plantwatch: kelp – forgotten forests that help tackle climate crisis Globally forests along coastlines absorb 600m tonnes of carbon a year, encourage wildlife and purify water Like trees in a forest, these giant algae provide food and shelter for many organisms. The warming climate is putting environmental pressure on California forests that have towered over the Golden State for thousands of years. Part of the change is basic chemistry: warm water has fewer nutrients than cool water and kelp forests, which do not have roots, need nutrient-rich …

kelp forest climate

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