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What Is Blue Carbon?

Blue Carbon refers to the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. These vital habitats include mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes. Despite covering only 1% of the ocean floor, they play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by acting as natural carbon sinks. How Does Blue Carbon Work?

"Harnessing Blue Carbon: The Ocean's Hidden Heroes."

Blue Carbon is more than just a scientific term—it’s a critical player in our fight against climate change. By protecting these coastal habitats, we safeguard not only carbon storage but also essential services like water purification and marine life habitat. Let’s appreciate the ocean’s hidden heroes! 🌊🌿🌏

How Does Blue Carbon Work?

1.Carbon Capture: These coastal ecosystems “capture and hold” carbon from the atmosphere. Sea grasses, mangroves, and salt marshes absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and store it within their biomass and sediments.

2. Rapid Sequestration: Although smaller than terrestrial forests, these coastal systems sequester carbon at a much faster rate. They can continue doing so for millions of years. Most of the carbon remains hidden below ground, often thousands of years old.

3. Climate Change Impact: When these habitats are damaged, a significant amount of carbon is released back into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems helps reduce this impact.

Mangroves: The Ocean’s Forests

• Mangroves are remarkable trees that thrive in flooded coastal environments where saltwater meets freshwater. They’ve evolved to survive in oxygen-deprived conditions. • These trees cover just 0.1% of Earth’s surface, yet they store 10 times more carbon than terrestrial forests. • Mangroves provide shelter and food for various species, including sharks, whales, and sea turtles.

Second-Order Effects of Blue Carbon Credits

1. Pollution Filter: Mangrove forests act as natural filters, reducing pollution.

2. Wave Energy Reduction: They help dampen coastal wave energy, protecting shorelines. 3. Storm Impact Mitigation: Mangroves minimize damage from coastal storms and extreme events.

4. Carbon Storage: Blue carbon systems trap sediment, supporting root systems. Blue Carbon and Carbon Credits • Incorporating coastal wetlands into the carbon market through buying and selling carbon offsets incentivizes restoration and conservation projects.

• These offsets help alleviate federal and state carbon taxes, encouraging fossil fuel reduction.

• Investors recognize the significant positive effects of blue carbon credits, leading to their potential premium trading compared to other carbon credits.

Food Footprint and Mangroves

• Beef and shrimp production on lands formerly occupied by mangroves contribute to a land-use carbon footprint. • A typical steak and shrimp cocktail dinner burdens the atmosphere with 816 kg CO2e. • Over 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide are annually released from degraded coastal ecosystems.

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