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Selected tag(s): Natural Climate Solutions

Blue carbon: A better tomorrow begins below

By: Kristin M. Kleisner and Jamie Collins

As we embark this year on the United Nations Ocean Decade, you may be hearing quite a bit about blue carbon. But what is it, and why is it so important for the future of our planet?  Well, the oceans play a critical role in trapping carbon, and they have absorbed about a third of all human-generated carbon emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution. This is important because the carbon that human activity has released into the atmosphere acts as an accelerator of climate change.

When carbon is stored naturally in the various parts of ocean and coastal ecosystems — sequestering it, or taking it out of the atmosphere, where it could contribute to warming — we call it blue carbon. The blue carbon storage reservoir includes waters, sediments, and marine plants and animals. Unfortunately, loss of habitat, overfishing and other human impacts, including those from climate change, are reducing the ability of the oceans to trap carbon. That’s why we are exploring pathways to restore these benefits now and help to secure a better future for us all. You can learn more about blue carbon and some of the ways in which we may be able to restore key pathways using this interactive site. Read More »

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Natural climate solutions cut a steady course through a sea of proposals for ocean carbon dioxide reduction

When it comes to slowing the warming of our planet, there is no substitute for immediate, dramatic reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. But emissions reductions alone won’t be enough to limit warming to the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal at the heart of the 2015 Paris Agreement, or even to the Agreement’s upper limit of 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, we’ll almost certainly need to complement emissions reductions with big investments in carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, to capture and lock away some of the carbon dioxide we’ve already emitted.

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Seaweed to heal the planet

Seaweed forests and algal beds cover about 3.5 million square km of our planet — only about 1% of the ocean’s surface — but these amazing ecosystems generate benefits to people and nature far out of proportion to their size. Read More »

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Blue Carbon: a diamond in the rough

As the biosphere continues to warm and the ocean acidifies, solving the global carbon problem becomes more critical each day. Keeping temperatures to survivable levels requires reducing emissions while at the same time working aggressively to absorb as much carbon dioxide as possible, using approaches that can nurture natural ecosystems and help vulnerable human communities flourish. Read More »

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