April 29, 2020. Life / Nature’s Solutions to Climate Change
Cyril F. Kormos, Shyla Raghav, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Russell A. Mittermeier, Brendan Mackey, Wes Sechrest
The oceans are the largest carbon sinks on Earth, absorbing 30% of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide that we humans have released into the atmosphere. The oceans have also absorbed 90% of the extra heat, dramatically slowing the impacts of climate change on the atmosphere up to now.
Our immense oceans are always connected to the atmosphere. As waves move and break, carbon dioxide passes from the air to ocean water. Currents then move that water, and with it the carbon dioxide. Once reaching the deepest parts of the ocean, the gas is locked away for millennia.
There are plants and algae in the oceans and along coasts that absorb carbon dioxide. Some, like mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal saltmarshes bury carbon directly in the sediment below them and keep it sequestered for a long time.
This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book “Nature’s Solutions to Climate Change” (2019)