1 Tahrcountry Musings: Sea Otters and Carbon Sequestration

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sea Otters and Carbon Sequestration

Scientists have calculated that Sea otters remove at least 0.18 kilograms of carbon from the atmosphere for every square meter they occupy in coastal waters. This piece of info comes from Dr Chris Wilmer and team from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
It is estimated that in North America alone they could collectively lock up 1010 kg of carbon which is worth more than $700 million in the carbon-trading market.
Sea otters have a stellar role in the ecology of sea. They promote the luxuriant growth of kelp by consuming sea urchins.
Unfortunately Sea Otters are on the decline. In Alaska the populations have dropped from up to 125,000 in the 1970s to around 70,000 today.
According to Dr Chris Wilmer the new calculations provide an incentive to protect sea otters.

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