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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:00 AM

Restoring Mangroves May Prove Cheap Way to Cool Climate

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=restoring-mangroves-may-prove-cheap-way-to-cool-climate


BLUE CARBON: Mangrove forests may be able to store twice as much carbon dioxide as human activity produces in a year, according to a new study.
Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Found along the edges of much of the world's tropical coastlines, mangroves are absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at an impressive rate. Protecting them, a recent study says, could yield climate benefits, biodiversity conservation and protection for local economies for a nominal cost -- between $4 and $10 per ton of CO2.

Mangrove forests are ecosystems that lie at the confluence of freshwater rivers and salty seas. While they make up only 0.7 percent of the world's forests, they have the potential to store about 2.5 times as much CO2 as humans produce globally each year.

These environments, along with other forms of coastal ecosystems such as tidal marshes and sea grasses, have been given the name "blue carbon" to differentiate them from the "green" carbon of other forests, where carbon is absorbed above ground in trees.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:14 AM

1. do these trees grow in the gulf?

seems i recall them being native to florida. make bp plant them all along the f'ing gulf coast.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:27 AM

2. IIRC they do. But corporate profiteering won't allow for an environmental project like this,

nor will "property rights" of Gulf Coast landowners.

Gotta preserve those views of pristine sandy beaches from the beach houses.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:28 AM

3. Yes.

They are a native species. For many years they were chopped down and replaced with seawalls. Now efforts are underway to replant mangroves, with pretty good success. Mangroves are also good for cleaning the water and provide habitat for small sea-creatures and birds.

Edit: just to avoid confusion, they don't grow in the gulf itself-too salty. They grow in brackish water, half salt, half fresh. So mostly find them in bays, and along low shorelines with plenty of freshwater like Everglades and Big Bend areas (where rivers exit).

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:14 AM

6. sounds like they should be at the edge of the dead zone.

filter the mississippi through a nice thick forest of them, with a couple shipping lanes.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:25 AM

7. They do grow in the Mississippi Delta.

But are disappearing.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:31 AM

9. clearly a bad thing.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:40 AM

4. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:02 AM

5. I wonder if I can get these things to grow outside of my Mancave?

I create a lot of CO2 in my Mancave, being a homebrewer & winemaker.

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Response to corkhead (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:30 AM

8. perhaps if the floor of your mancave resembles a river delta....

....you may have a shot.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:07 PM

10. In Cuba they've planted one

alongside the 48km flat road bridge out to the Caya Coco atoll,

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:28 PM

11. they are endangered but this is a great reason to work on restoring them

 

thanks for the link

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:32 PM

12. One of the biggest threats to the mangrove ecosystem

is shrimp farms. The waste accummulated from the shrimp farm kills the mangrove trees.

Also, like the marsh, the changing sea levels, etc, is causing loss of the ecosystem.

And man-made needs of wanting to live next to a water way, also devastates the mangroves as well.... Similar to the marshes being drained and golf douse communities popping up.

And in the south, they provide a barrier to hurricanes like marshes do. They are a natural system we are losing way too fast. We need to protect the mangrove ecosystem very badly; much like we ought to be doing with our marsh ecosystems. They have such incredible natural value to us as a whole. We need to protect these areas like we would protect and endangered species because without te marsh areas (brackish environments), we would devastate interior ecosystems and water ecosystems and even weather conditions.

On top of it all, they are just beautiful and have value of a kind that is not quantifiable.... Like rare art that is invaluable. Or the pyramids in Egypt.

We need to protect our marsh areas badly in the Gulf. We lose so much acreage every year. Invaluable resources.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:59 PM

13. they do so much more

they protect shorelines in weather events and provide habitat.

This group works tirelessly to save and restore the mangrove forests around the world.
http://mangroveactionproject.org/

Find out where your shrimp comes from. If it is from shrimp farms then it is very possible a mangrove forest was destroyed to make room for the shrimp farm.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:55 PM

14. The damage that BP has done is not to be underestimated (except by BP of course).

There are lots of mangrove in the Florida Keys which provide great back country fishing!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:47 PM

15. It's unclear to me from the article how much CO2 they can store.

Can they store 2.5 times a year's worth of output in total, or can they do it every year? The article doesn't make it clear.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:24 PM

16. I think I saw mangroves along the Riverwalk in San Antonio

Strange trees!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:09 PM

17. We've killed half (?) the world's mangroves

There are three species of mangroves. White, Black and Red.

Reds are where the name mangrove comes from. The root and stump structure of the reds that exists above ground is a twisted mass that can resemble a man's body.

A tropical specie, it is improbable that you will find one in places where freezes occur.

The reds grow in salt water in the tidal zone. Whites and blacks grow on ground at the top of the tidal zone.

As global warming proceeds the mangrove zone may move north and south. Rising sea levels should not harm the reds and in fact may hasten their expansion.

Mangroves when left alone provide habitat for a great number of other species, from snails and juvenile fish up to the largest of water birds. Losing as much of the mangrove as we have has caused these other species to die off in great numbers.

Anything we can do to preserve and increase mangrove forests will benefit everyone.

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