Results from a new U.S. soil survey could bolster efforts to monitor and protect wetlands around the world. (Nature)
Navigate American wetlands with our GeoStory.
Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.
- New research supports conservation of tidal wetlands. What are tidal wetlands? Take a look at our reference resource for some help.
- Tidal wetlands describe salty or brackish wetland ecosystems that are influenced by the movement and patterns of tides.
- Tidal wetlands include:
- tidal plains, also called mudflats. Learn a little about Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin mudflat here.
- sloughs. Learn a little about California’s Elkhorn Slough here.
- saltwater marshes and tidal marshes. Learn a little about the salt marshes of the Chesapeake Bay here.
- saltwater or brackish swamps. Learn a little about Thailand’s mangrove swamps here.
- seagrass meadows. Learn a little about seagrass beds in the Bahamas here.
- What is “blue carbon”? Take a look at this blog post for some help.
- Blue carbon describes carbon that is naturally sequestered and stored by marine and coastal wetland ecosystems. Blue carbon ecosystems are a type of carbon sink—an area or ecosystem that absorbs more carbon dioxide than it releases. Unlike carbon sinks such as rain forests, blue carbon is stored not just in plants (such as seagrass) but in the wetland soil itself. The new study analyzed about 1,900 soil samples.
- According to the Blue Carbon Initiative, half of the carbon sequestered in all ocean sediments is sequestered in coastal, blue carbon ecosystems.
- A recent report from the EPA “found that the United States’ 3.8 million hectares of coastal wetlands soak up 8.1 million tonnes of CO2 each year.”
- Why are so many scientists supporting the conservation of blue carbon ecosystems?
- Coastal wetlands store a lot of carbon. As they are destroyed for housing and development, they can release as much as 500 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year. Carbon emissions like these are a key contributor to climate change.
- “The goal is to address climate change while protecting ecosystems that sustain fisheries, improve water quality and protect coastlines against storms.”
Nature: Climate scientists unlock secrets of ‘blue carbon’
Nat Geo: American Wetlands GeoStory
Nat Geo: What is a wetland?
Nat Geo: Blue Carbon for Climate Mitigation
2 thoughts on “Another Reason to Love Wetlands: Blue Carbon”
Thanks for sharing this, very helpful and precise.
Great article on Blue Carbon! I also came across a neat connection between coastal wetlands and sharks this am, it’s older, but semi related: https://baynature.org/2014/08/12/love-a-shark-save-a-wetland/.