Can the forests of the world’s oceans contribute to alleviating the climate crisis?

Photo: Kelp forest views from below the ocean surface
PHOTO BY: Andrew B Stowe – Shutterstock
Researchers are looking to kelp for help storing carbon dioxide far beneath the surface of the sea.

Sixty years ago, Tasmania’s coastline was cushioned by a velvety forest of kelp so dense it would ensnare local fishers as they headed out in their boats. “We speak especially to the older generation of fishers, and they say, ‘When I was your age, this bay was so thick with kelp, we actually had to cut a channel though it,’” says Cayne Layton, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. “Now, those bays, which are probably at the scale of 10 or 20 football fields, are completely empty of kelp. There’s not a single plant left.” […]

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