Global warming is real, but no one really agrees on what is the best way to combat and reverse it.
I don’t know about the best way, but the cutest way to fight it is definitely with sea otters.
A study written about in New Scientist says that if the sea otter population were restored to pre-hunting levels, they would sequester more than 10 million tons of carbon in the ocean ecosystem.
To put it differently…sea otters are worth $700 million in carbon credits.
Chris Wilmers of the University of California, Santa Cruz has worked out that otters play a crucial role in how the ecosystem draws carbon out of the atmosphere. By feasting on sea urchins, otters keep vast forests of kelp healthy, which he calculates can sequester 0.18 kilograms (0.40 pounds) of carbon for every square meter of habitat the animals occupy.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but multiplied across all of the coastal waters that could support a kelp forest ecosystem, it adds up. That makes sea otters very valuable animals indeed, and not just in a “let’s save the cute fuzzy critters” sort of way.
You may not care much about global warming or saving the planet, but how can you NOT care about that cute furry face?
Check out Discovery’s video documentary for more info on how otters can help fight global warming.