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Sea Animals Are Doing Climate Change Research

Elephant seals, narwhals, and leopard seals are helping with research that could save their habitat.

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3. Solution: elephant seals!

Handout / Reuters

"The seals went to an area of the coastline that no ship was ever going to get to," said sea ice specialist Guy Williams. They are intrepid explorers: "Several of the seals foraged on the continental slope as far down as 1,800 meters (1.1 miles), punching through into a layer of this dense water cascading down the abyss," said Williams. "They gave us very rare and valuable wintertime measurements of this process."

4. Their research could help with climate change modeling.

Handout / Reuters

Learning more about trends in Antarctic bottom water could help scientists predict how climate change will affect the oceans.

6. Elephant seals aren't the only ones involved in research. Narwhals have carried sensors too.

Kristin Laidre, NOAA, files / AP

They helped scientists learn that the water beneath the ice of Baffin Bay, in the North Atlantic, was warming.

The harp seal has yet to participate.

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