The large-scale report – entitled Carbon Storage and Sequestration by semi-natural habitats - draws on research carried out by Dr Ward and recent Brighton PhD graduate Dr. Mariana Lima that explores carbon sequestration and storage in watery habitats such as seagrass meadows, kelp forests, salt marshes and mangroves. As well as studying seagrass and kelp along the south coast, Dr Ward's work has taken him to diverse global locations including Thailand, Estonia, Arctic Norway and Brazil.
Dr Ward, Principal Lecturer in Environmental Sciences, said: “There is an increasing acceptance of the urgency to reduce carbon emissions to address the threat of climate change. This must be a multi-faceted approach and one way to remove carbon from the atmosphere is through nature-based solutions including storing and sequestering carbon in vegetation and soils.
One of the recent pushes in research has been investigating carbon in coastal systems, termed ‘blue carbon’. Blue carbon systems sequester carbon at much greater rates than terrestrial systems, including tropical forests, yet these are some of the most threatened ecosystems.