Scientists have created a giant map of underwater forests

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have created the world’s largest digital map of kelp forests, reports Bloomberg. The map is expected to be an effective tool for tracking the state of these underwater areas that absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and are under threat due to the warming of the oceans.

Algae forests protect the planet from climate change and are home to about 800 marine species, including sea otters and whales.

In some areas, like California, algae help protect coastlines from storms and form waves, supporting the multi-million dollar surf industry.

Algae is also found in food and cosmetics and can be used as a biofuel. At the same time, in 2014-2017, rising ocean temperatures have already destroyed 95 percent of underwater forests along a 124-kilometer section of the northern coast of California.

A giant map of kelp forests is hosted at Kelpwatch.org. It shows changes in the upper forests off the coast of California and will be updated quarterly. The tool will identify areas most suitable for algae recovery.

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