HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » California (Group) » New satellite images show...

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 05:35 PM

New satellite images show Northern California's kelp forest almost gone. Here's the reason

New satellite images show Northern California's kelp forest almost gone. Here's the reason

Tara Duggan March 5, 2021 Updated: March 5, 2021 8:32 p.m.

The kelp forest that only eight years ago formed a leafy ocean canopy along the Northern California coast has almost completely disappeared, and scientists who study kelp and the species that depend on it are worried about its inability to bounce back.

A new study from UC Santa Cruz found that the kelp forest on the Sonoma and Mendocino coast has declined by an average of 95% since 2013. It analyzed satellite imagery going back to 1985 to investigate how a series of factors led to the kelp forest’s abrupt decline, including an explosion in the population of purple sea urchin, which eats it, and two marine heat waves. The research shows the unprecedented destruction was related to unusual ocean warming and that the kelp forest likely won’t recover any time soon, partly because removing the urchins is so difficult.

“They can actually survive under starvation conditions,” said Meredith McPherson, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz’s Ocean Sciences department and coauthor of the study. “The impact has been that basically there is no kelp forest at all left, really.”

Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) usually thrives in the rocky coastal zones of Sonoma and Mendocino counties and creates a habitat for many types of fish and invertebrates, including abalone, sea urchin, jellyfish and sea snails. Its disappearance also has had impacts on local tourism and other businesses — the abalone fishery closed to recreational divers in 2018, and Mendocino County’s commercial red sea urchin fishery is almost completely shut down.

remainder of article (incudes photos and maps) at : https://www.sfchronicle.com/local/environment/article/New-satellite-images-show-Northern-California-s-16001922.php

3 replies, 1135 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply New satellite images show Northern California's kelp forest almost gone. Here's the reason (Original post)
PufPuf23 Mar 6 OP
Hugh_Lebowski Mar 6 #1
ProudMNDemocrat Mar 6 #2
PufPuf23 Mar 6 #3

Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 05:38 PM

1. Let me guess ... the warmer water is more conducive to sustaining the population

of purple sea urchins?

This is bad friggin news

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 06:09 PM

2. Having done a lot of SCUBA diving off California

The Kelp forests are essential to ocean life in general.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProudMNDemocrat (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 06:13 PM

3. The kelp are the central structure to the off shore

ecosystem; no kelp, most components of the ecosystem are also gone or greatly reduced.

This should be front page news and highest priority save for the shit storm that is the World at present.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread