The Next Ocean

Humanity's extra CO2 could brew a new kind of sea

By Susan Milius, 15:58 PM April 15, 2008

Terrie Klinger is starting to wonder about the future of kelp sex. It's a delicate business in the best of times, and the 21st century is putting marine life to the acid test.

Klinger, of the University of Washington in Seattle, studies the winged and bull kelps that stretch rubbery garlands up from the seafloor off the nearby Pacific coast. These kelp fronds do no luring, touching, fusing of cells or other sexy stuff. Fronds just break out in chocolate-colored patches.

The patches release spo...

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