The amount of greenhouse gases that can be absorbed by Australia’s marine ecosystems has been studied and quantified in a new study published by Nature Communications.
According to researchers at Edith Cowan University, Australia’s marine plant ecosystems, consisting mainly of algae, mangroves and salt marshes, absorb 20 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. That is why they play an important role in the presence of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
According to the same study, this amount of absorbed fuel is estimated to be equivalent to the emissions of more than 4 million cars per year. However, the same study also notes that human damage to these particular ecosystems results in more than 3 million tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere annually.
In addition to the direct human-induced cause, adverse weather conditions, which resemble climate change itself, also reduce the carrying capacity of these ecosystems. These ecosystems may be damaged by, inter alia, dredging and other actions that limit their scale, or they may be damaged by heatwaves.
The same principal author of the study, Oscar Serrano of the Marine Ecosystem Research Centre at the University of Australia, adds that these coastal plant ecosystems are reduced in terms of distribution twice as fast as tropical rainforests, despite the fact that the latter play a much greater role in the same world of information when it comes to damaging nature.