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¿Un bosque submarino puede salvar el mundo?

Planting a tree to improve the environment? Very good! Reforest a forest? Better! Planting a forest at the bottom of the sea? Wooo! Just great! But do not think that you have to plant pines or oaks down there, but another species that,

Although it is at risk, has many ways of defending the ecology of the planet… Can this underwater forest save us? This video was made thanks to the collaboration of Boskelp, a project to promote the care of marine ecosystems and coastal communities in Chile. If you want to support them,

Check the link that we leave you in the description. More information at the end of this video. The average temperature of the planet is already 1.2 degrees higher than in the pre-industrial era and continues to rise. The concentration of carbon dioxide has reached record levels and it is

Estimated that biodiversity has suffered a loss of up to 70% in less than 50 years, with more than 1 million species at risk of extinction. In addition, sea levels continue to rise and many coastal regions are already experiencing flooding and beach erosion.

Many countries -Chile among them- have been facing strong waves and this has caused great destruction of ecosystems and infrastructure. The latest studies predict that the strength and frequency of the waves will continue to increase. And if the solution is in nature itself?

Faced with these threats and the actions we can take – individually and collectively – an unexpected ally emerges: kelp algae. Brown or kelp algae, also known as kelp, are not really plants: they are colonies of unicellular organisms that belong to the group of heterokonts or stramenopiles. They tend to grow in shallow,

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Nutrient-rich water and grow extremely fast: up to half a meter a day… the tallest reach lengths of up to 80 meters. Most algae get their nutrients from the surrounding seawater and not from the soil. Humans have used them for a long time: the ash from seaweed is

Rich in iodine and alkali. In large quantities, the ashes have been used in the production of soap and glass, as well as caustic soda. Kelp is also used in edible products: it contains alginate, which is used to make thick products such as ice cream, jams, sauces,

Creams and toothpaste, as well as dog food. Kelp grows in forests at a depth where sunlight still reaches, and now those underwater forests can play an even bigger role in the fight against climate change. As? Ah well, in many ways. They produce oxygen. Terrestrial forests are wonderful, but it has been discovered

That at least half of the oxygen we breathe is produced by algae! They protect the coast from erosion. Some 600 million people live in coastal areas. Kelp forests , with their complex structure and biomass, reduce storm damage and dampen the force of waves, especially now with rising

Sea levels due to climate change. They capture carbon dioxide. Algae are more efficient than trees at capturing carbon dioxide, which reduces ocean acidification. They protect biodiversity. Kelp forests create areas where marine animals can feed, protect themselves, reproduce, and breed: they provide shelter for hundreds of species, such as fish, lobsters,

Crabs, and others. The dogfish shark, for example, anchors its eggs among the fronds of the algae and many octopuses make their home in the forests, like the one in the movie «my teacher the octopus.» Did you see it? They reduce pollution. Nitrogen used in fertilizers often seeps into

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The seas: excess nutrients can cause harmful algae blooms that disrupt the ecosystem. Kelp is very good at capturing nitrogen. It is estimated that if some 500 million tons of it is grown and harvested worldwide, up to a third

Of the nitrogen that enters the ocean could be absorbed. They produce the albedo effect. Kelp forests can influence how light is reflected in coastal waters. Some species even have gas-filled bladders that allow them to form flexible, buoyant surface canopies. Thus, its crowns and fronds reduce the amount of radiation

Solar energy that is absorbed by the ocean. This helps mitigate ocean warming and climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Kelp forests have two great enemies: firstly, urchins, (ABRUPT PAUSE) No, not those urchins! These urchins, who love to eat the seaweed! Biodiversity loss has reduced the number of urchin predators

And urchins have increased in number, which is threatening the survival of kelps. The second enemy is excessive exploitation. In Chile alone, for example, more than 400,000 tons of huiro, which is the name of a brown algae, were exported in just one year. The loss of kelp forests contributes to rising temperatures, concentration of

Greenhouse gases, and therefore to the climate crisis. What can be done? Well, protect, plant and restore kelp forests! This has already been done in places like the Wheeler North reef in California or the Crayweed operation in Australia. In

Latin America, a pioneer country is Chile. Why Chile? Well, you only need to look at the map to see how extensive its coastline is: some 4,300 kilometers of coastline with different environmental conditions for various species of algae. Chile’s coast also has

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High biodiversity, including giant kelp. Also in these waters there are upwelling systems , which means that nutrient-rich waters rise from the depths of the ocean to the surface: this promotes the development of robust and healthy kelp forests. Finally , in Chile, kelp forests contribute to artisanal fishing and offer opportunities for

Sustainable aquaculture, kelp harvesting, and development of biotechnological applications. Boskelp is a group of six young people who won the Circular Challenge: Follow the sun in 2021, presenting this proposal to plant Kelp forests as an adaptation and mitigation alternative to climate change and a commitment to the protection of

Marine biodiversity and marine life. coastal communities. If you want to defend algae ecosystems, we invite you to get to know and support foundations that protect algae ecosystems. We leave you the link in the description! Curiously! You can also support CuriosaMente to

Continue producing more videos with a small monthly donation through the “Join” button or at Patreon.com/curiosamente. So you can participate in the selection of topics and get other benefits. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and share this video!

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Written by d2jma

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