Kelp On The Edge!

With the Falklands classifications wrapping up, it’s time to move on to our next phase of global kelp mapping – kelp on the edge! Giant kelp is a cold water species – warm nutrient poor water is a definite no. Their range extends towards the equator wherever they are found until they hit a wall of warm water. There they shall stop, and no further.

But what about when that wall – that range edge – starts heating up? That’s when you’ve got…

We’ve witnessed a variety of other kelps die back when things got to hot, and our own Jorge Assis has shown some projected major range shifts of kelps in the future.

With the data from Floating Forests, one question we want to ask is, how have kelps on the edge been faring? Over the past 35 years, have we seen kelps on warm water range edges dwindling? Have any of those populations blinked out? Have the ranges of giant kelp actually been on the move?

The great thing about this project is the simplicity of the question. Rather than circling kelp beds (although we’ll get there), we want to begin just by looking at range edges of giant kelp around the planet and the area up to 500km away and ask you just to note, do you see any kelp? Yes or no? That’s it!

We’re also putting kelp on the edge into the Zooniverse app where you can swipe right for kelp! click here for the iPhone app or here for android!

The first set of images is up – from Baja California using Landsat 7 and 8. L4 and L5 imagery will come in the next few days, and more of Baja and then New Zealand next week.

So what are you waiting for! Pull out your phones and get swiping! (or click here.

Also… the music we can’t get out of our heads

There’s somethin’ wrong with the kelp today
I don’t know what it is
Something’s you’ll see with our eyes

We’re classifyin’ things in a different way
With swipe fast left or right
The data will surprise

Kelp’s livin’ on the edge!

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