Climate Scientists Unlock Secrets of ‘Blue Carbon’
Published:12 Jan.2018    Source:Nature
Over the past decade, scientists and policymakers have pushed to protect the carbon stored in coastal wetlands, known as blue carbon. The goal is to address climate change while protecting ecosystems that sustain fisheries, improve water quality and protect coastlines against storms. But raising money to support such efforts often requires determining precisely how much carbon these ecosystems hold, and how it accumulates over time.
Windham-Myers’s team reanalysed raw data from some 1,500 sediment cores collected over the past several decades, and 400 newer samples. The data showed a clear relationship: the density of soils decreased as the fraction of carbon in those soils increased, and vice versa. As a result, the amount of carbon in any given cubic metre of soil remained roughly the same, regardless of differences in vegetation, climate, topography or water chemistry across blue-carbon ecosystems.