The UK will develop into the primary nation to provide a full map of its blue carbon shops.
Led by the Scottish Affiliation for Marine Science (SAMS) and funded by WWF-UK, it builds on blue carbon mapping that started in Scotland.
Preliminary findings are anticipated later this yr, with a ultimate report back to be printed in the summertime subsequent yr.
Details about how a lot carbon is saved in and sequestered by UK marine habitats is presently restricted.
The undertaking goals to deal with this scientific blind spot, paving the way in which for higher understanding and safety of the UK’s blue carbon habitats.
Mapping blue carbon shops will permit UK governments to plan and prioritise how marine environments are utilized in future
Dr Simon Walmsley, chief marine adviser at WWF-UK, stated: “Greater than two thirds of the UK is below the ocean, but carbon accounting stops on land, creating a considerable blind spot across the carbon storage capability of UK seas. We have to be taught extra about this and quick to cease important marine carbon shops being broken by human actions.
“This information might be important for a variety of industries, for futureproofing UK fisheries, and for tackling the local weather and nature crises.”
Dr Lissa Batey, head of marine conservation at The Wildlife Trusts, stated: “The Government has dedicated to defending 30% of the ocean by 2030 however the wider seascape is basically being ignored. From vibrant seagrass meadows to chilly water corals, our marine surroundings just isn’t solely wealthy in wildlife however vitally essential for storing carbon and tackling local weather change.
“We’re increasing the North Sea examine to cowl all UK seas, offering us with essential information that may assist decide how we will strategically defend our oceans for wildlife, local weather, and other people.”
The UK Blue Carbon Mapping undertaking will full important analysis in three regional phases – English Channel/Western Approaches, Irish Sea and Scotland (with the North Sea evaluation accomplished and printed final yr) – earlier than combining these right into a UK abstract subsequent yr.