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How do you breed climate-resistant kelp? In Australia, it starts with AI

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Bloomberg or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Climate change has severely impacted giant kelp forests in Australia, with a reported 95% loss off Tasmania
• A new initiative involving Google and Australian scientists aims to leverage artificial intelligence to identify and restore heat-resistant strains of this crucial underwater habitat

🔭 The context: Giant kelp forests are vital for coastal protection, marine biodiversity, and local economies, offering habitats for various species and attracting tourism
• However, rising sea temperatures and invasive species have drastically reduced their presence

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The degradation of kelp forests signifies a loss of a key ecosystem that supports marine life and carbon sequestration
• The collaboration to use AI in mapping and analyzing kelp genetics for restoration represents an innovative approach to tackling environmental challenges exacerbated by climate change

⏭️ What's next: The project aims to create a comprehensive map of the remaining kelp forests and identify genetically resilient strains for replanting, with the goal of restoring 30% of Australia's giant kelp forests
• This effort is seen as crucial for the forests' survival amid ongoing climate challenges

💬 One quote: "It’s going to be a lot of factors that allow particular kelp to withstand temperatures and we don’t know what they are," (Anusuya Willis, director at the CSIRO)

📈 One stat: 95% - the percentage of giant kelp forests off Tasmania that have been lost

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