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Our “fingerprints” are all over climate change, research on warming ocean temperatures finds

Our oceans are getting hotter, a trend that is alarming experts and human activity is clearly to blame. Sea surface temperatures (SST) are rising at an alarming rate, and scientists have spent months puzzling as to why. They have a good reason to worry: If sea surface temperatures continue rising, humans will endure worsened storms, rising sea levels and major changes to the Earth’s ecology....

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Stewards of the kelp forests: New research reveals how sea otters dramatically influence the climate

With their roly-poly bodies, child-like eyes, long whiskers and tiny padded paws, otters are some of the most charismatic animals in nature. But while being cute doesn’t serve much purpose in the wild, new research suggests these little furballs have been helping mitigate climate change.

A recent study in the journal PLOS Climate, led by researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, details how southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris) off the coast of California have helped kelp forests remain resilient to the impacts of climate change....

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Earth’s salt cycle is swinging out of balance, posing yet another “existential threat,” study finds

It is not pleasant to imagine that human activity is making the planet uninhabitable, but we typically think of this in terms of greenhouse gases, rising sea levels or acidifying the oceans. We aren’t typically concerned with how salty things are.

Yet a recent study published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment identifies a wealth of industrial activities from construction and agriculture to water and road treatment as making the planet Earth too salty — literally....

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Plastic pollution is filtering up into the fish that we eat

As an agrarian civilization, almost all of what humans eat is farmed — with the notable exception of seafood. Aside from some farmed fish, most seafood we consume is still caught in the wild. Yet while it might seem that there is something more pure and traditional about consuming “wild” food as opposed to farmed food, the seafood that we eat soaks in a sea contaminated by plastic — and it turns out that a lot of that pollution may be making its way into our bodies via seafood. ...

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The ocean’s temperature was hotter than ever in 2022, scientists say

As time progressed from 2021 to 2022, climate scientists remarked on what a banner year it had been for global warming. Among other records, experts noted that the Earth’s oceans were hotter in 2021 than at any other time in the planet’s history.

Yet now that 2022 has drawn to a close, climate scientists must be feeling déjà vu all over again — as 2022 marked another alarming year of climate records being broken....

Originally posted on salon.com