The role of oceans in reducing carbon emissions

Friday, 11 December, 2015

The University of Queensland (UQ) has a portfolio of ‘blue carbon’ research projects which seeks to better understand the role of oceans and their ecosystems in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

As explained by Catherine Lovelock, a professor in UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and a member of the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group, ‘blue carbon’ is the term used to describe carbon stored in marine and coastal environments. Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Australia had significant blue carbon resources, with coastal wetlands alone estimated to be storing in the order of 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon.

UQ is leading two of the four work packages of the CSIRO Marine and Coastal Carbon Biogeochemistry Cluster, which represents investment of $15 million by CSIRO and various partners from 2012–2016. Some of the university’s research includes:

  • studying seagrass, mangrove and tidal marsh carbon storage and mapping blue carbon environments in Australia and internationally;
  • natural resource management of blue carbon assets and economic analyses; and
  • legal analyses relating to blue carbon.

UQ partners with national and international institutions to lead blue carbon research and facilitate its uptake, including CSIRO; the Queensland Government; the Department of the Environment; Conservation International; the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia; and a range of universities and research institutions.

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