Blue carbon

What is blue carbon ?

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems, which sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, and are an important part of global carbon sequestration. 

How does Blue Carbon work? 

Coastal and marine ecosystems are necessary for many environmental processes on earth, notably, through their ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. The carbon that is stored naturally in these ecosystems is referred to as blue carbon. 

This carbon can be stored in natural formations such as:  

  • Mangroves
  • Tidal marshes 
  • Seagrass beds

Why is blue carbon important? 

These biospheres naturally absorb and retain large amounts of carbon in the plant structures as well as in the ground below. For example, mangroves absorb a high amount of carbon dioxide, and they are incredibly efficient at storing it as opposed to terrestrial plant life. There has been an increasing focus on these blue carbon sequestration ecosystems in recent years due to their efficiency and importance in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. For example, coastal ecosystems take up less than 1% of ocean surface area globally, yet they are responsible for capturing roughly 3/4ths of the total carbon sequestered by the oceans on earth.