Blue Carbon is carbon associated with the marine environment through coastal and open ocean ecosystems
Blue carbon refers to carbon associated with the ocean, the world’s largest active carbon sink.
Traditional ocean carbon research largely focused on the role of microscopic organisms, which exist in huge numbers and capture enormous amounts of carbon, though debate about the long-term fate of this carbon is ongoing. Blue carbon research has since extended to carbon capture and long-term storage by complex plants and their ecosystems in coastal regions (Coastal Blue Carbon Ecosystems), and to the various carbon cycling pathways, pumps and trophic cascades provided by larger marine animals, the marine vertebrates (termed Fish Carbon), including mammals, turtles, birds and fish.
The solution to climate change that will result in the most favorable conditions for life as we know it requires both a reduction in the release of greenhouse gases and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Since coastal blue carbon ecosystems and marine vertebrates are highly efficient at direct and facilitated carbon capture and storage, their preservation, protection and restoration comprises an important tool in climate change mitigation and adaptation.