Blue Carbon is essentially carbon captured by the Earth’s oceans and coastal ecosystems. Although smaller in size than our planet’s forests, sea grass, microalgae, mangroves and salt marshes sequester carbon at a much faster rate than their terrestrial counterparts. They have also been acting as carbon sinks for much longer (often millions of years).
Despite covering less than 0.5% ocean’s seabed, the ocean’s vegetated habitats are responsible for more than 50% (and possibly 70%), of all carbon storage in ocean sediments. Mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass make up the majority of the ocean’s vegetated habitats but, while covering less than 0.05% of the plant biomass on land.
As these ecosystems are damaged, due to man-made activities and climate change, they emit enormous amounts of carbon back into our atmosphere – further contributing to the acceleration of climate change and extreme weather events.