The construction of shrimp farms released irreplaceable reserves of carbon into the atmosphere

An international group of scientists conducted an analysis of the geochemical carbon cycle in the major biomes of the Earth based on local anthropogenic pressures. Experts have established that the stock of nonrenewable carbon in the ecosystem of the planet is more than 260 gigatons. He especially densely distributed in the mangroves, virgin forests and peat bogs. While mirovye timber annually destroyed for the sake of content shrimp farms. Solving the economic and scientific problems, people should take account of risks of carbon losses. These studies and proposals on sustainable land management the authors of the study published in Nature Climate Change.

Every ecosystem on the planet contains carbon, which is temporarily excluded from the biological cycle. It often happens that human activity releases it into the atmosphere, and for the restoration of the stocks in the ecosystem take tens and even hundreds of years. Such a carbon is called irreplaceable (irrecoverable carbon). The biosphere largely depends on the decisions of the man and his approach to the use of natural resources. According to the intergovernmental group of experts on climate change, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over the world requires the immediate reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gases and achieving net zero emissions (which implies a complete absence of such emissions, or its neutralization through the involvement in the biological cycle or anthropogenic sequestration) of carbon dioxide by 2050. To achieve this goal is possible only by saving the key to carbon sequestration of the ecosystem.

Ellie Goldstein (Allie Goldstein) of the environmental organization Conservation International and her colleagues set up three the most important indicator for evaluating the carbon risks of losses: handling natural community on a local scale, the amount of vulnerable carbon in the ecosystem and its ability to recover. Controllability indicates whether the local population to act on the principle “think globally, act locally” within a single ecosystem, or its condition is determined by natural conditions and human control. The amount of non-renewable carbon characterizes which part of the carbon pool is released in the process of land use. Resilience is expressed as the time required to replenish the reserve of carbon in the ecosystem.

Rocks, permafrost, glaciers, deserts, freshwater ecosystems and coral reefs were considered as unmanaged ecosystems. Local management of natural resources or the lack of it affect them less than the climate and other environmental conditions. Scientists have identified 14 major biomes of the Land as managed. The driving forces behind the conversion of grasslands, peatlands and tropical forests is agriculture; boreal and temperate forests — forestry, and coastal ecosystems — aquaculture, particularly the content of prawn and fish ponds in Asian countries.

Next, the authors carried out calculations of carbon stocks and vulnerability in literature and experimental data. Data showed a significant variation: for example, in one hectare of tropical pastures enclosed 43 tons of carbon in one hectare of tropical peat — from 30 to 504 tons. Ecosystems are not only volumes of carbon pools, but also a response to anthropogenic forcing. For example, abandoned pastures in the tropics can come to steady state after 19 years. On the contrary, mangrove forest after conversion to shrimp farms are losing about 80 percent of the carbon for the first month, and on his recovery may take more than 150 years.

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