|Rare Beccari's seagrass growing at mangroves of Kranji Nature Trail.|
A recent report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and wetland specialists ESA PWA found that, unlike terrestrial forests, these marine ecosystems are continuously building carbon pools, storing huge amounts of “blue carbon” in the sediment below them. When these systems are degraded due to drainage or conversion for agriculture and aquaculture, they emit large and continuous amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere.
The report studied 15 coastal deltas. Of these, seven were found to have released more than 500 million tons of CO2 each since the wetlands were drained, mostly in the past 100 years. By comparison, Mexico’s carbon dioxide emissions for 2007 were just over 470 million tonnes.
The report highlights that the current rates of degradation and loss of coastal wetlands which are up to four times that of tropical forests. Destruction of about 20 percent of the worlds’ mangroves has led to the release of centuries of accumulated carbon. This has also disturbed the natural protection against storm surges and other weather events.
The full report: http://www.iucn.org/www.worldbank.org/icm
Media articles on the report on wildsingapore news.
Related posts on this blog
- Mangroves: the "most carbon rich forest in the tropics"
- Dr John Yong shares on "What is a Healthy Mangrove Ecosystem"
- Saving Singapore last best mangroves at Pulau Tekong
- How much mangroves are left in Singapore?
- What's so marine about International Year of the Forest
- Best map of mangroves reveals true global decline
- World Atlas of Mangroves: all is not lost
- More posts about Singapore mangroves on this blog.
See also lots of articles and comments about coastal wetlands as a carbon sink in the Blue Carbon Portal.