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Sea trees: kelp's incredible potential to store CO2

kelp

Image via Shane Stagner

 

Seaweed has been vastly underrated up until recently. There are 10,000 different types and it’s so much more than a weed. It’s the perfect ally for solving the climate crisis and can transform into everything from biofuel, bioplastic and bricks to build homes. Wild seaweed sequesters 100 million metric tonnes of carbon each year which is potentially more than all other marine plants combined. 


In recent years giant kelp has received a lot of attention in particular for its potential to sequester carbon faster than trees with growth rates of up to 30 centimeters a day. Their ability to grow so fast means they’re able to soak up 20 times more CO2 per acre than forests on land. 

 

carbon sea kelp

Image via Silas Baisch 

 

As they grow and die, their leaves and root systems (all of which contain carbon) become buried in the underwater soil and can be stored for centuries with less risk of that carbon being released again. This is unique when compared to trees, which are more at risk of being cut down and releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere.


Kelp can also grow and attract biodiversity in otherwise lifeless ocean ‘dead zones.’ Because of its amazing capacity to soak up CO2 and restore ocean habitats, several kelp planting projects are popping up in their early phases thanks to organisations like Sea Trees and The Climate Foundation, who are looking to harness its amazing potential to reverse climate change.

 

Read more about Sea Trees and our commitment to sequester carbon emissions here

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