This post is by Dorothy Neufeld from Visual Capitalist

Published on
The following content is sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation
This bar graph shows the carbon sequestration potential of blue carbon.

How Blue Carbon Combats Climate Change

Today, 33 billion metric tons of carbon is stored in blue carbon ecosystems. For context, this is equal to 81% of the emissions produced globally in 2023. These blue carbon sinks play an important role in locking away carbon and are found across three main ecosystems:

  • Mangroves
  • Salt marshes
  • Seagrasses
This graphic, sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation, illustrates the significant sequestration potential of blue carbon.

Carbon Sequestration Potential by Ecosystem

Blue carbon ecosystems are among the most productive in the world—meaning their plants usually grow a lot each year, and in the process, sequester large amounts of carbon. In addition, their soils are largely anaerobic (without oxygen) so carbon that gets incorporated into the soils decomposes very slowly and can remain intact and stored for hundreds or even thousands of years. In fact, mangroves sequester carbon 56 times faster than tropical forests.
EcosystemCarbon Sequestration Rate (g C m-2 yr-1)*
Salt Marshes218
Temperate Forest5.1
Boreal Forest4.6
Tropical Forest4.0

*Mean long-term rates of carbon sequestration (g C m-2 yr-1) in soils in terrestrial forests and sediments in vegetated coastal ecosystems. In terrestrial ecosystems, mass of carbon per unit area per year (g C m-2 (Read more…)