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Blue Carbon: Nature's Climate Shield and Biodiversity Haven



  Nov 29, 2023

Blue Carbon



Blue carbon refers to carbon dioxide (CO2) captured and stored by the world’s ocean and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the vegetation and soils of mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses. These ecosystems play a crucial role in absorbing significant amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, thereby mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Significance of Blue Carbon

1. Carbon Storage: Blue carbon ecosystems store carbon mostly in the soil and silt, up to six meters under the seabed. For instance, seagrass has the unique ability to prevent organic carbon from decomposing back into CO2, thus acting as a significant carbon sink .

2. Biodiversity Hubs: These ecosystems are vital for biodiversity, providing habitat for a variety of marine and coastal species. This includes birds, fish, mammals, invertebrates, algae, and microbes, many of which are essential for ecosystem health and support local diets and fishing industries .

3. Nature-Based Climate Solutions: Recognized as key components of nature-based solutions to climate change, blue carbon ecosystems are highly productive and important for their capacity to store carbon within plants and sediments .

4. Additional Benefits: The protection and restoration of blue carbon ecosystems also offer added benefits for wildlife, water quality, storm surge protection, and local economies. This makes them not only crucial for climate change mitigation but also for enhancing local environmental quality and economic well-being .

Examples of Blue Carbon Ecosystems

1. Mangroves: These are trees and shrubs that grow in coastal saline or brackish water, known for their dense root systems that trap sediments and carbon.

2. Salt Marshes: Grasslands that are regularly flooded by seawater, trapping and storing carbon in their soils.

3. Seagrasses: Marine plants found in shallow waters, they are effective in trapping and storing carbon in their sediments.

In conclusion, blue carbon plays a vital role in global climate mitigation efforts by capturing and storing carbon dioxide, supporting biodiversity, and providing multiple ecological and economic benefits. Its significance extends far beyond its role in carbon sequestration, encompassing the health of marine ecosystems and the well-being of coastal communities.

SRIRAM’s


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