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In 2014, a confluence of climate change and over predation led to a sudden loss of 95% of kelp along the Western coast of North America. The resulting loss of biodiversity was shocking in its speed and magnitude.

Reporting for Scientific American and the Monterey Herald, journalists Andrew Robinson and Dom Smith follow researcher Joshua Smith of UCSB below the waves. Together, they dive the turbulent waters of Monterey to document kelp growth and aquatic life as part of ongoing research about the possible solutions and inherent dangers when man tries to undo the damage caused by climate change. Using underwater videography, they capture the remaining forests, the urchin barrens, and the difficult nature of underwater research.

In this project, Robinson and Smith explore the following questions: Can humanity stabilize an ecosystem out of balance? What is the true cost of extinction? Is this a prelude to even greater losses of species on land?

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