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Mangrove "Blue Carbon" Sequestration Endangered (Int'l Report)
Methane,Climate Change
Date: 2019-07-10
In the Land Down Under, researchers from Southern Cross University are reporting their research has revealed that dead mangrove trees released us much as 8 times more of the potent greenhouse gas methane than living mangrove trees. The research was brought about by a recent catastrophic climate-induced coastal mangrove die-back in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The findings, published in the international journal New Phytologist, have implications for scientific understanding of how mangrove systems sequester "blue carbon" -- CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere and locked up in coastal wetlands such as mangroves. (Source: Southern Cross University, mycg.com.au, 7 July, 2019)Contact: Southern Cross University, Luke Jeffrey, Phd. Candidate, +61 1800 626 481, www.scu.edu.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Mangrove,  Climate Change,  Methane,  


Fiji Submits Low Emission Development Strategy to UNFCCC (Int'l)
Fiji Carbon Emissions
Date: 2019-03-01
In the South Pacific, The Government of Fiji reports it is the 11th country to submit its long-term Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) 2018 -- 2050 strategy to the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Fiji's LEDS sets out long-term emission reductions and defines sustainable and resilient economy-wide mitigations pathways until 2050. It also addresses: sector-specific targets and measures; social, economic and environmental dimensions; education, capacity building and awareness raising; and a framework for monitoring and evaluating the LEDS. It is also among of the world's first LEDS to address the Blue Carbon Sector and the island country's mangrove ecosystems.

The LEDS also details Fiji's objective of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all economic sectors, and details the following potential low emission scenarios:

  • a Business-as-Usual (BAU) Unconditional Scenario that would be implemented and financed without reliance on external or international financing;
  • A BAU Conditional Scenario conditional on external or international financing to implement mitigation actions;
  • a High-Ambition Scenario that projects ambitions beyond those already specified, and achieves significant emission reductions by 2050 compared with the BAU scenarios; and
  • a Very High Ambition Scenario that projects ambitions well beyond those already specified, and in which most sectors achieve net-zero or negative emissions by 2050.

    Fiji aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all economic sectors without threatening the country's long-term development objectives. (Source: UNFCCC. Feb., 2019) Contact: UNFCCC, [Fiji LEDS 2018-2050, UN Climate Change, +49 228 815 1000, secretariat@unfccc.int, www.unfccc.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UNFCCC,  Fifi,  Carbon Emissions,  Blue Carbon,  


  • Blue Carbon Research Forum Launched in Scotland (Int'l Report)
    Blue Carbon
    Date: 2018-11-05
    Holyrood is reporting the Scottish Government and a group of Scottish universities have established the Blue Carbon Forum to measure the ability of Scotland's marine environment to store carbon dioxide.

    The programme is being developed by Marine Scotland in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, St Andrew's University, Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

    Scotland Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The potential role of our marine environment in tackling the greenhouse gas problem is enormous, with recent research by the University of St Andrews estimating that more carbon is captured and stored in sea lochs alone than in our terrestrial environment, such as forests and peatlands. Scottish Natural Heritage has estimated that the amount of carbon stored within Scotland's Marine Protected Areas is the equivalent of four years of Scotland's total greenhouse emissions," the Environment Secretary added.

    Chair of the Blue Carbon Forum Professor John Baxter said: the "Programme will provide essential information to help inform what is required to be done to enhance and protect these key habitats into the future which is essential for the mitigation of future climate change." (Source: Gov. of Scotland, Holyrood Mag., Nov., 2018) Contact: St. Andrews University Professor John Baxter, +44 (0)1334 46, jmb24@st-andrews.ac.uk, startlink]St. Andrews Univ., www.st-andrews.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  


    Ellgrass CO2 Sink Loss Studied (Int'l, Research Report)
    Carbob Sequestration
    Date: 2018-11-02
    In a new study spanning coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, researchers at Abo Akademi University explored the magnitude of organic carbon stocks stored and sequestered by eelgrass meadows -- the most abundant seagrass species in temperate waters.

    According to the study, eelgrass organic carbon stocks were comparable to organic carbon stocks of tropical seagrass species, as well as mangroves, salt marshes and terrestrial ecosystems. The researchers also found that on average, eelgrass meadows stored 27.2 tons of organic carbon per hectare, although the variation between the regions was considerable

    In the marine systems, the blue carbon species alone account for up to 33 pct of the total oceanic CO2 uptake. In contrast to terrestrial soils, which usually store carbon up to decades, the carbon stored in blue carbon ecosystems may persist for timescales of millennia or longer and thus, contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and alleviation of the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Despite the importance of these ecosystems, to date, none of them are included in the global carbon trading programmes. Alarmingly, in the past 50 years, at least one-third of the distribution area of coastal vegetated ecosystems has been lost. (Source: Abo Akademi University, Public Press Release, 31 Oct., 2018) Contact: Abo Akademi University, Christoffer Bostrom , Associate Professor in Environmental and Marine Biology, +358 50 431 8226, christoffer.bostrom@abo.fi, www.abo.fi

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  EllGrass,  


    Amazon Mangroves Key to Carbon Storage, says Study (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-26
    In Corvallis, Scientists led by Oregon State University ecologist Prof. J. Boone Kauffman have determined for the first time that the Amazon's waterlogged coastal mangrove forests, which are being clear cut for cattle pastures and shrimp ponds, store significantly more carbon per acre than the region's rainforest.

    The recently released long-term study offers a better understanding of how mangrove deforestation contributes to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming.

    The Brazilian mangrove forest fringes the entirety of the Atlantic Coast at the mouth of the Amazon, the largest river in the world with the largest mangrove forest. Mangroves -- aka Blue Carbon -- represent 0.6 pct of all the world's tropical forests but their deforestation accounts for as much as 12 pct of GHG emissions from all tropical deforestation.

    Partial funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program. (Source: Oregon State University, KTVZ.COM, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: Oregon State University, J. Boone Kauffman, Research Leader, www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Kauffman3

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  Mangrove,  


    Aussie Study Values Inland Wetlands Carbon Storage Stocks (Int'l)
    Deakin University
    Date: 2018-06-27
    In the Land Down Under, researchers from the Deakin School of Life and Environmental Sciences' Blue Carbon Lab are reporting that Victoria state's inland wetlands lock away the annual emissions of 185,000 people. Victoria has about 530,000 hectares of inland wetlands, which include marshes, peatlands, pools and lakes, making up about 2.33 pct of the state's land area. The figure is part the state's first tally of its valuable environmental resources which came to three million tpy of CO2.

    In total, the researchers estimated Victoria's inland wetlands had a soil carbon stock of 68 million tons, worth about $6 billion under Australia's most recent carbon price.

    According to lead researcher Dr Paul Carnell, "While a lot more is known about how trees suck up and store carbon, freshwater wetlands can actually sequester 20 to 40 times more carbon than forests on dry land."

    The study was funded by the Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology. (Source: Deakin University, PR, 26 June 2018) Contact: Deakin University, Dr Paul Carnell, Lead Researcher, +61 3 924 43902, paul.carnell@deakin.edu.au, www.deakin.edu.au: Blue Carbon, http://bluecarbonlab.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Fundy's "Blue Carbon" Sequestration Capacity Explored (Ind. Report)
    Blue Carbon,Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2018-05-23
    In Atlantic Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada's recent study of the Bay of Fundy coastal ecosystem and its "blue carbon" has estimated the area's carbon sequestration capacity to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of carbon-offsetting costs. "Blue carbon" is a term coined by scientists to describe carbon dioxide stored in coastal plants and soil.

    On land, forests capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Forests release their carbon every few hundred years, due to fire, tree mortality or human harvesting. By comparison, coastal marshes maintain their carbon for thousands of years. Coastal ecosystems do the same -- but they're much better at it, according to McGill University "Blue Carbon" authority Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain. Coastal ecosystems can hold three to five times more carbon than the equivalent area of forest, according to a federal government report.

    The financial value of blue carbon comes from its potential for carbon emission credits which the Canadian federal government is introducing. According to government documents, "carbon stored in tidal salt marshes in the Bay of Fundy could have an estimated value of $202 million." That would equal $1 billion in 2022. In terms of Canada's national carbon emissions strategy, blue carbon could be used as an offset to meet international targets and coastal communities could protect or rehabilitate wetlands to generate carbon credits. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, CBC, 22 May, 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm; McGill University, Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain, (514) 926-6854, gail.chmura@mcgill.ca, www.mcgill.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Storage,  


    TNC, XL Catlin Collaborate on Blue Carbon Credits (Ind. Report)
    TNC, XL Catlin
    Date: 2018-05-11
    The Nature Conservancy (TNC)and insurance/reinsurance firm XL Catlin in Bermuda are touting a project to develop Blue Carbon Resilience Credits that will value the combined carbon sequestration and resilience benefits provided by coastal wetland ecosystems.

    With XL Catlin's support, TNC will develop a system of credits assigning a market value to the resilience services provided by these historically under valueded cosystems. The hope behind this initiative is that, for the first time, insurance firms and other businesses will be able to offset their carbon footprint while simultaneously better underdstanding the contribution they are making to reducing coastal hazards in the world's most vulnerable coastal areas.

    Coastal wetlands -- salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves -- sequester billions of tonnes of "blue carbon" from the atmosphere at concentrations up to five times greater than terrestrial forests. As an increasing number of companies are purchasing carbon credits to offset their footprints, this credit will enable a valuation of the carbon sequestration and coastal resilience benefits that wetlands provide both businesses and communities.

    Unlike other climate mitigation solutions coastal wetlands not only sequester carbon, they also protect coastlines by absorbing incoming wave energy and providing storm protection. Additionally, a recent study found that wetlands prevented $625 million in direct flood damages from Hurricane Sandy in the United States. As such, coastal wetlands provide both carbon sequestration and resilience services- a powerful combination in a world of changing climate.

    TNC will explore different options to value the resilience services provided by coastal wetlands and to develop a credit product to support ongoing wetland conservation. One of these options could include a numeric ranking system assigning a dollar value to wetlands based on factors such as their potential for storm impact reduction, location relative to vulnerable communities, local economic activities and assets, and potential benefits from habitat restoration. The figures generated by the rankings, combined with the carbon storage capacity of a given wetland, would generate Blue Carbon Resilience Credits. These credits would then offer organizations the capacity to manage their carbon footprints whilst acting as the funding mechanism for wetland conservation, increasing coastal resilience for communities. (Source: The Nature Conservancy, 10 May, 2018) Contact: The Nature Conservancy, Maria Damanki, Global Managing Director for the Ocean, www.nature.org: XL Catlin, Paul Jardine, CEO, www.xlcatlin.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  


    Aussie Marine Heatwave Triggered Massive CO2 Release (Int'l)
    Seagrass
    Date: 2018-03-19
    In the Land Down Under, a recently completed and released study from Edith Cowan University and a team of international researchers reports a severe heatwave off north-western Western Australia hammered the world's largest region of seagrass -- a major carbon sink -- causing the release of as much as 9,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Two months of temperatures 2 - 4 degrees above average in the summer of 2010-11 resulted in the loss of about 1000 square-kilometres of seagrass -- aka a "blue carbon sink" -- in Shark Bay by 2014, or about a fifth of its extent, according to the paper which was published last week in Nature Climate Change. Shark Bay accounts for about 2.4 pct of the world's total seagrass area.

    One hectare of seagrass, along with mangroves, has 30 - 50 times the potential of Amazonian forest in terms of [carbon] mitigation, according to study researcher and lead author Oscar Sorrano. It also has the potential to release huge amounts of carbon-dioxide back to the atmosphere -- potentially increasing the likelihood of further heatwaves by fuelling global warming.

    The researchers - ranging from Australia, Spain, Malaysia, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - estimated the loss from the heatwave event released as much as 9 million tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent annual emissions of 800,000 homes or 1,600,000 cars. The estimates were based on modelling releases based in-situ studies from 50 sites. (Source: Edith Cowan University, Nature Climate Change, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar., 2018) Contact: Edith Cowan University, Oscar Serrano, Researcher, Paper Lead Author, +61 8 6304 0000, www.ecu.edu.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Seagrass,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  CO2,  

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