For this week’s video pass along, we travel to the island of Palawan in the Philippines, courtesy of @Context_news. Families there have been championing seaweed for over 30 years — growing seaweed cuttings on ropes in the ocean and harvesting them to make chips, noodles, and carrageenan, a valuable additive. One of the biggest items on their agenda these days is preparing their seaweed to survive climate change.
In recent years, seaweed farming has become the fastest-growing form of aquaculture in the world, in large part due to its many potential environmental benefits, like absorbing excess nutrients in the ocean and storing carbon on the seafloor. But as a crop threatened by warming temperatures and volatile weather, it’s not immune to the very problems it might help solve.
As farmers experiment with typhoon warning systems and deep-sea farming, scientists are cultivating climate-resilient seaweed strains in the lab. What they’re learning may help researchers better understand the costs of scaling seaweed around the world, and whether it can be the solution to climate change that they hoped for.
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