Seaweed ‘forests’ can help fight climate change

Photo: A mix of kelp, Irish moss and sea lettuce harvested off the coast of Maine.
PHOTO BY: Rebecca Hale, NAT GEO image collection
Farming seaweed, then sinking the mature plants to the bottom of the ocean, could be an effective way to fight warming. So why don’t we do it?

As the Amazon burns, there’s growing interest in cultivating forests that absorb planet-warming carbon emissions, but that are fireproof.

That’s because these forests are underwater.

An increasing body of research is documenting the potential of seaweed farming to counter climate change as deforestation decimates rainforests and other crucial carbon sinks. Fast-growing oceanic jungles of kelp and other macroalgae are highly efficient at storing carbon. Seaweed also ameliorates acidification, deoxygenation, and other marine impacts of global warming that threaten the biodiversity of the seas and the source of food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people. […]

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