The role of seaweed in the global carbon cycle
Today’s Video of the Day from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) describes new research which suggests that the role of seaweed in the global carbon cycle has been underestimated.
The researchers studied the DNA of seaweed, also known as macroalgae, and discovered that diverse species drift as far as 5,000 kilometers beyond coastal areas. Around 70 percent of this seaweed will sink to the depths of the ocean below 1,000 meters, taking the carbon that it has captured along with it.
“This finding has huge implications for how the global carbon dioxide budget is calculated,” said study first author and PhD student Alejandra Ortega. “It indicates that macroalgae are important for carbon sequestration and should be included in assessments of carbon accumulated in the ocean, known as blue carbon.”
Video Credit: KAUST