Does a large population of sea otters reverse one of the principal causes of climate change? New research from the UC Santa Cruz is suggesting that a population boom of sea otters would go a long way to reduce sea urchin numbers, and therefore allow kelp forests to become very large.

“The spreading kelp can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than if it were subject to ravenous sea urchins, the study finds.” Of course, altering a food chain so significantly could have unintended consequences.