"Coastal ecosystems can absorb or emit the three main greenhouse gases: carbon
dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
We explored how coasts in ten regions of the world differ in greenhouse gas
uptake and emissions. Our research published today in Nature Climate Change
finds that, globally, our coastal ecosystems are a net greenhouse gas sink, but
smaller emissions of potent methane and nitrous oxide gases reduce some of the
carbon dioxide uptake.
We found coasts in Europe and Russia are net emitters, while coasts in
Southeast Asia and North America have a large uptake of these gases.
Like upland forests and rainforests, ecosystems like coastal wetlands can take
up atmospheric CO₂ and turn it into new leaves, roots and other organic matter.
When some of this carbon is stored long-term in deep sediments, it can help
battle rising CO₂ levels in our atmosphere.
The coastal net greenhouse gas uptake should not be confused with carbon
storage. Only part of the coastal greenhouse gas uptake is stored long-term in
coastal sediments, while another part is transported to the ocean where it
might be stored or released back to the atmosphere."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics