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Diving into Blue Carbon: A Review on Carbon Sequestration by Mangrove Forests, Seagrass Meadows and Salt Marshes, and Their Capacity to Act as Global Carbon Sinks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the last decade, the academic interest for Earth’s natural carbon sinks and their role concerning climate change has increased. Today, many scientists around the world are trying to calculate different ecosystem’s potential to sequester and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

As a newcomer to the scientific arena, the term ‘blue carbon’ has been well received by scientists in the field. ‘Blue carbon’ highlights the carbon captured and stored by productive ecosystems along the world’s coasts. The term refers to coastal wetlands – such as mangrove forests, salt marshes and seagrass meadows – and it came to life as the scientific community recognized these ecosystems’ significant potential as effective carbon sinks.

New research indicates that these ecosystems’ complex and vertical root systems can store much larger amounts of carbon in the soil than any other terrestrial ecosystem. By studying this subject, scientists are trying to understand how these ecosystems can help us in the quest of removing excessive carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The goal of this thesis is to conduct a literature review, aiming to analyse and compile the new research on ‘blue carbon’ that has been published during the last 10 years. The paper aims to investigate whether the ecosystem’s potential as carbon sinks differ from each other, and what threats they will face in the future. It will additionally review if scientists have been able to unite around any predictions about what the future for ‘blue carbon’ – and its role in mitigating climate change – will look like. 

Abstract [sv]

Under det senaste decenniet har intresset kring naturliga kolsänkors potential och roll i att mildra klimatförändringar ökat. Idag är det många forskare som arbetar med att beräkna mängden kol som olika ekosystem runt om världen kan lagra i sin biomassa och i jorden under dess rötter.

Som en nykomling på den vetenskapliga arenan, har termen ’blue carbon’ blivit väl mottaget av forskare inom området. ’Blue carbon’ syftar på det kol som fixeras och lagras av de produktiva ekosystemen längs världens kuster. Termen refererar till kustbelägna våtmarker – så som mangroveskogar, saltträsk och sjögräsbäddar – och introducerades efter att den vetenskapliga världen erkänt deras imponerande potential som kolsänkor.

Ny forskning tyder på att deras avancerade och vertikala rotsystem kan lagra mer koldioxid i marken än vad vanliga terrestra skogar kan. Genom att studera detta ämne försöker forskare att förstå hur dessa ekosystem kan hjälpa oss att avlägsna överskottet av koldioxid från atmosfären.

Målet med denna uppsats är att utföra en litteraturstudie och analysera, samt sammanställa den nya forskningen om ’blue carbon’ som publicerats de senaste 10 åren. Uppsatsen kommer undersöka hur stor skillnad det är mellan de olika ekosystemen och vilka hot de står inför i framtiden. Dessutom kommer den undersöka ifall forskare kommit närmre i att enas kring förutsägelser om framtiden för ’blue carbon’, och hur dess roll i att mildra klimatförändringarna kommer se ut.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 12
Keywords [en]
carbon sinks, coastal ecosystems, carbon sequestering, blue carbon
Keywords [sv]
kolsänkor, kustbelägna ekosystem, kolfixering, blue carbon
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-384028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-384028DiVA, id: diva2:1318650
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Earth Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-05-29 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2019-06-07Bibliographically approved

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