350.org’s climate day of action–sea otters called out

2005_surface_temperature_anomaly

Global annual surface temperature in 2005, relative to 1951-1980 mean; Goddard Institute of Space Studies

This last week saw a flurry of activity around climate change, thanks to 350.org’s October 24th day of action! Some of our local activists in Santa Cruz organized some great activities, and people all over the world got together to call for action on climate change.

Climate change is a BIG issue–for people, societies, and probably for sea otters too. There isn’t too much research yet on what impact changes will have on otters in particular, but we know that the oceans are particularly susceptible to changes wrought by climate. Ocean acidification is a huge problem that could drastically impact ocean ecosystems.

In recognition of the threats that climate change poses to conservation goals, the Center for Biological Diversity launched a website called “350 Reasons we need to get to 350” in which they have selected 350 species that showcase what we risk losing if we don’t act soon. In addition to the usual polar bears and sensitive arctic species, sea otters in California made the list.

The Center links their decision to include sea otters in the list to the risk posed by ocean acidification, stating “off the West Coast, increasingly corrosive waters are making it harder for the invertebrates that are the otter’s main prey to form their shells.”

The CBD further notes that scientists have determined that 35% of species worldwide could be doomed to extinction if we continue on our current climate trajectory without reducing emissions. Although sea otters seem resilient to warming waters, they’re incredibly reliant on a network of species that might not be.

There’s a lot to do to save sea otters–considering our impact on the climate is a big step. For more information on what you can do, check out 350.org–one of many great resources for taking action! Remember, the sea otters are at stake.

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About Allison

I am the new Executive Director of The Otter Project in Monterey, California! Originally from the Bay Area, I went to school in San Diego, and came back north to Monterey for graduate school, where I found my calling: saving sea otters! Working for The Otter Project combines my passion for environmental policy with my love of animals. When not advocating for sea otters, I enjoy yoga, volunteer wildlife rehab, reading, and spending time with my cat Alyssa, who, for the record, I did not name. I have been with The Otter Project since November of 2007.
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