The sea otter--cutest face in the aquarium or best solution to global warming???
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying, how about both?
??Researchers from UC Santa Cruz recently completed a forty-year study on the relationship between otters and carbon-dioxide levels in coastal air. The team examined areas of high and low CO2 from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska. They found that areas with larger populations of otters had fewer sea urchins. Makes sense, since otters eat urchins.
And this decreases global warming how? Well, sea urchins eat kelp. And kelp is one of nature’s most efficient converters of CO2 into oxygen. So fewer urchins eating kelp means there's more kelp to absorb that nasty greenhouse gas, CO2. Amazing! ??
Scientists say this study shows the importance of animals as natural solutions to excessive greenhouse gases. Which could lead to new ways to look at global warming, and greater conservation efforts.
Which is good because, when they clap those little paws together, they are also otterly adorable! (Get it--otterly?)
<em>The Loh Down on Science</em> is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.