Virginia Institute of Marine Science
National Science Review
Coastal tidal wetlands produce and accumulate significant amounts of organic carbon (C) that help to mitigate climate change. However, previous data limitations have prevented a robust evaluation of the global rates and mechanisms driving C accumulation. Here, we go beyond recent soil C stock estimates to reveal global tidal wetland C accumulation and predict changes under relative sea level rise, temperature and precipitation. We use data from literature study sites and our new observations spanning wide latitudinal gradients and 20 countries. Globally, tidal wetlands accumulate 53.65 (95%CI: 48.52–59.01) Tg C yr−1, which is∼30% of the organic C buried on the ocean floor. Modeling based on current climatic drivers and under projected emissions scenarios revealed a net increase in the global C accumulation by 2100. This rapid increase is driven by sea level rise in tidal marshes, and higher temperature and precipitation in mangroves. Countries with large areas of coastal wetlands, like Indonesia and Mexico, are more susceptible to tidal wetland C losses under climate change, while regions such as Australia, Brazil, the USA and China will experience a significant C accumulation increase under all projected scenarios.
coastal wetlands, blue C, C burial rate, global change
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Wang, Faming; Sanders, Christian J.; (...); Kirwan, Matthew L.; and et al, Global blue carbon accumulation in tidal wetlands increases with climate change (2021). National Science Review, 8(nwaa296).