Category archive: Science

Underwater Kelp Forests Mapped In New Citizen Science Project

Underwater Kelp Forests Mapped In New Citizen Science Project

Kelp forests grow along roughly 25 percent of the world’s coastlines and provide valuable habitat and nutrients for many types of aquatic life.

Underestimating the ocean: new evidence from IUCN highlights the carbon-regulating capacity of the ocean

Underestimating the ocean: new evidence from IUCN highlights the carbon-regulating capacity of the ocean

Gland, Switzerland, 9 December 2014 – Protecting key carbon-absorbing areas of the ocean and conserving fish and krill stocks are critical for tackling climate change. This is one of the findings of a report released today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in which top marine scientists describe how atmospheric carbon is captured, stored and moves in the ocean.

Mangroves for coastal defence: Guidelines for coastal managers & policy makers

Mangroves for coastal defence: Guidelines for coastal managers & policy makers

A recent publication from Wetlands International and The Nature Conservancy deals with mangroves as a defense against waves, storms, tsunamis, erosion and sea level rise. Mangroves for coastal defence: Guidelines for coastal managers & policy makers by Wetlands International and The Nature Conservancy seeks to answer questions such as: Can mangroves reduce waves and storm surges? How will they…

Why whale poo matters – George Monbiot – the Guardian

Why whale poo matters – George Monbiot – the Guardian

I can hear you muttering already: he’s completely lost it this time. He’s written a 2,000-word article on whale poo. I admit that at first it might be hard to see the relevance to your life. But I hope that by the time you have finished this article you will have become as obsessed with marine faecal plumes as I am. What greater incentive could there be to read on?

In truth it’s not just about whale poo, though that’s an important component. It’s about the remarkable connectivity, on this small and spherical planet, of living processes. Nothing human beings do, and nothing that takes place in the natural world, occurs in isolation.

When I was a student, back in the days when mammoths roamed the earth, ecologists tended to believe that the character of living systems was largely determined by abiotic factors. This means influences such as local climate, geology or the availability of nutrients. But it now seems that this belief arose from the study of depleted ecosystems. The rules they derived now appear to have described not the world in its natural state, but the world of our creation. We now know that living systems which retain their large carnivores and large herbivores often behave in radically different ways from those which have lost them.

How Whales Change Climate

How Whales Change Climate

When whales were at their historic populations, before their numbers were reduced, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Whales change the climate. The return of the great whales, if they are allowed to recover, could be seen as a benign form of geo-engineering. It could undo some of the damage we have done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.

Vote yes for mangrove conservation in Madagascar!

Vote yes for mangrove conservation in Madagascar!

Our proposed community-centered mangrove ecotourism project in Madagascar has been shortlisted by the European Outdoor Conservation Association to receive much-needed funding and is now through to the final round, which is a public vote. We need your vote to make this project a reality, to build a sustainable future for Madagascar’s mangroves. Every vote counts! Voting continues until October 6.

Quatar’s floating blue carbon project

Quatar’s floating blue carbon project

Quatar has an innovative ‘Floating Mangroves’ project at Lusail Marina, a luxury marina in Doha. The project was initiated in March 2012 and explores the use of mangroves for capturing carbon emissions, or sequestration, helping to reduce atmospheric carbon levels. Project partners include UNESCO, Lusail City and Qatar University’s Environmental Club. “Floating mangroves can be…

Blue carbon projects can work!

Blue carbon projects can work!

Blue carbon projects can work, by using the value of carbon stored and sequestered in coastal and marine ecosystems to support conservation and sustainable management, a new report shows. The report, published by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), aims to stimulate discussion regarding projects that support the conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems…

Salt marsh restoration could bring carbon benefits

Salt marsh restoration could bring carbon benefits

Allowing farmland that’s been reclaimed from the sea to flood and turn back into salt marsh could make it absorb lots of carbon from the atmosphere, a new study suggests, though the transformation will take many years to complete.

Scientists looked at one of the oldest such places in the UK, Tollesbury in Essex. Originally a salt marsh, the site was claimed for farming in the late 18th century, but eventually relinquished in 1995 when the bank separating it from the sea was deliberately breached. Since then it’s been reverting to its natural state, though this is very slow process.

How to describe a complex phenomenon such as carbon sequestration?

How to describe a complex phenomenon such as carbon sequestration?

How to describe a complex phenomenon such as carbon sequestration? And how to show the precious but often invisible and unknown benefits that ecosystem provides to the people?

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