College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

How Giant Kelp May Respond to Climate Change

In a Changing Ocean, Giant Kelp’s Reproductive Success Depends on Where It’s From

When a marine heat wave hit California’s coast in 2014, it brought ocean temperatures that were high for Northern California but fairly normal for a Southern California summer. Much of the giant kelp in the north died in the heat wave, while southern populations survived.

UC Davis News

Lost Sea Creatures Wash Up on California Shores as Ocean Climate Shifts

"Five years ago, the Gulf of Alaska warmed to record temperatures, likely due to a sudden acceleration in the melting of Arctic sea ice. Usually a cold southern current flows along California. That year, the warm “blob” spread down the coast and, instead of blocking tropical species from moving north, it served as a balmy welcome to a variety of animals far from home."

Water weeds. Love ‘em and leave ‘em be.

Growing up I was no different than the rest when it came to water “weeds”. I was terrified to feel the slime and whip-like stalks wrap around my legs as I waded into streams and lakes. The horrifying mixture of slippery rocks (diatoms), feather-like strands of filamentous algae on my legs, and squishing sediments between my toes sent strains of panic up my spine. As kids we perpetually persevere; my focus at the time to remain as close to the water surface as possible so as not to contact the dark abyss of the stream bottom (and the horrific photosynthesizers) again.