Baltic Breakfast: Healthy coastal ecosystems are crucial to mitigate climate change

Thursday 26 August 2021 08.30 – 09.15

su.se/ostersjocentrum/balticbreakfast

The coastal zones are among the most effective areas on Earth at sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Treated right, these ecosystems are important cornerstones in climate change mitigation, but if degraded, they instead release large amounts of greenhouse gases, re-enforcing global warming.


The land-ocean transition zones, the coasts, are biodiversity and productivity hotspots. In submerged coastal landscapes, a mosaic of seafloor vegetation provides living environment for numerous marine organisms, but these ecosystems also play a significant role in the oceanic carbon cycle. In fact, coastal ecosystems sequester carbon – often referred to as ‘blue carbon’ – from the atmosphere and oceans at significantly higher rates, per unit area, than terrestrial forests.

Mangrove forests, salt marshes and seagrass meadows are typical examples of blue carbon ecosystems and are found on every continent except Antarctica. They trap organic matter from the water column, and their complex underground stem and root systems help binding and storing carbon in the sediment below.  Although lacking roots, macroalgae also absorb large amounts of carbon, which can be exported to and sequestered in long-term reservoirs like the deep sea. Kept undisturbed, these coastal plant communities are highly efficient in capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in sediments for geological timescales.

Coastal ecosystems worldwide bring an enormous value in ecosystem services. However, when these ecosystems disappear, are degraded, or converted to other uses, their carbon sink capacity is lost.

What is the situation for these ecosystems in the Baltic Sea? Are they threatened? Can they be restored? And can blue carbon play a role in climate mitigation and is it implemented in policies?Welcome to a webinar on the role of coastal ecosystems for climate mitigation.

 

Speakers

Florian Roth, PhD in Marine Science, Post Doc at Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre and Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki

Camilla Gustafsson, PhD in Marine Biology, University researcher at Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki

 

Join the discussion

This seminar is broadcasted 08.30-9.15 (local Swedish time). You are most welcome to send questions or comments to our speakers in advance or during the seminar by e-mailing ostersjocentrum@su.se or via our chat tool Slido, using the code #22102.

 

New policy brief

Want to know more already? Our new policy brief, covering the topic is available for download here:

Policy brief: Healthy coastal ecosystems are crucial to mitigate climate change (2744 Kb)

 

About Baltic Breakfast

Baltic Breakfast is a series of short breakfast webinars organised by the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. Their aim is to present the latest knowledge about issues of central importance to the Baltic Sea environment. The breakfast webinars are addressed to people in different sectors working for a sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region and everyone interested in environmental issues of the Baltic Sea. 

Click here to sign up on our invitation list and receive information about up-coming Baltic Breakfasts.