Source: Yale Climate Connections
Mangrove forests in Florida’s wetlands capture global warming pollution and trap it underwater.
The Florida Everglades provide wildlife habitat, fresh water for millions of people and recreation.
Now researchers say they’re also a valuable tool for reducing global warming.
That’s because the Everglades’ mangrove forests suck up a lot of carbon dioxide. These salt-tolerant trees grow where land and sea meet, so when they send carbon into the soil, it gets trapped under water. If this soil remains undisturbed …
Jerath: “… they can be very significant storage systems for carbon.”
Meenakshi Jerath of Florida International University recently calculated that mangroves in Everglades National Park provide up to $3.4 billion worth of carbon storage.
But these valuable forests are at risk. The mangroves are squeezed between rising seas and an ecosystem that’s degraded by man-made flood control systems.
Work is under way to restore a natural flow of water in the Everglades. The effort is slow and expensive but Jerath’s study provides both environmental and economic reasons for it to continue.
Jerath: “It sends a strong signal to policymakers about the importance of funds to keep these Everglades mangroves preserved.”
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.