Coastal Wetlands Mitigate Global Warming, Study
Scientists from the University of Maryland demonstrated in a study released today the positive impact of coastal wetlands in mitigating the effects of global warming. To get to that hypothesis, they analyzed marine systems such as coral reefs, seaweed forests, phytoplankton and fish, according to a paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Coastal wetlands store a lot of carbon in their soils and they are important natural carbon sinks in the long term, while kelp – a kind of seaweed – corals and marine wildlife are not.
To give you an idea, they can capture and store more than 200 metric tons of carbon per year around the world. That is why, when we destroy coastal wetlands for coastal development or aquaculture, we transform these natural carbon sinks into additional man-made sources of greenhouse gases. They also recommended protecting other ecosystems, such as coral reefs and seaweed forests, because they safeguard against storms and erosion, and are key habitats for fish
For the authors, blue carbon coastal habitats can be considered as the single most efficient biological reservoirs of carbon stored on Earth.