[google-translator]
75,878 OCEAN PASSPORTS
1,438 PARCELS SPONSORED
1,239 SPECIES FRIENDED

Slinging Sediment: Seagrass May Be Seriously Underestimated As a Carbon Sink

Source: Hakai Magazine/Evan Lubofsky - February 14, 2018 in Science/Tech

Slinging Sediment: Seagrass May Be Seriously Underestimated As a Carbon Sink
Photo: John Mark Arnold/Unsplash

Seagrass meadows take up less than 0.1 percent of the world’s oceans; nevertheless, they are considered a huge carbon sink. Seagrass draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, using it to fuel its own growth through photosynthesis. When the seagrass dies, much of this carbon is locked away in the sediment. Estimates from more than a decade of what’s called “blue carbon” research suggest seagrass beds store as much as 83,000 metric tonnes of carbon per square kilometer—three times as much as forests—and lock it away for millennia.

These dramatic rates of carbon storage have caused scientists, conservationists, and others to champion seagrass beds as a way to mitigate climate change. But there’s one problem: the numbers may be wrong.

“Researchers in the blue carbon community have overestimated how much carbon stays buried in seagrass beds,” says Sophia Johannessen, a geochemical oceanographer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). “They certainly don’t store as much carbon as is currently claimed in the big international studies.”

Read Full Story

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

Print article