[GWSG] Careful planting; our friend eel grass; tending meadows; moderating models; SLR warning

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Apr 13 10:20:01 EDT 2021

1. Planting large numbers of trees to draw down carbon is an easy, common sense way to deal with the climate crisis. Gigantic projects are underway. They  may do more harm than good, or less good than some alternative actions (or inactions). Smart forestation and reforestation projects require careful planning. For example: “ Depending on soil types and climate, grasses often use less water to sequester soil carbon than trees do, and can do so faster and more effectively at higher temperatures. Grasses are also less vulnerable to destruction by fire, drought, and disease.” https://e360.yale.edu/features/are-huge-tree-planting-projects-more-hype-than-solution

2. The tiny grains at the base of eel grass (seagrass) are tasty and nutritious. The grass itself is a champion carbon-fixer. Cultivation could provide food (with no irrigation but the seawater) and a project for meaningful carbon sequestration. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/09/sea-rice-eelgrass-marine-grain-chef-angel-leon-marsh-climate-crisis

3. Sea grass meadows are declining by about 7% annually, destroyed by pollution and commercial fishing practices (bottom trawling). We can reverse that. (Moreover, if we clean up our coastal flatlands before they go under we will have lots of new sea meadow space.)  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-seagrass/shrinking-sea-meadows-store-more-carbon-than-forests-scientists-are-racing-to-track-whats-left-idUSKBN2BV0MV?edition-redirect=uk&utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_content=20210409&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20Daily

4. A higher-resolution analysis of currents near Antarctica concludes that we need to reduce sea level rise projections from models  for the next 100 years by 25%. (The historical record on sea level rise generally reflects higher rates--see the next item.)  https://phys.org/news/2021-04-current-climate-simulations-overestimate-future.html

5. Harold Wanless, a coastal geography professor at the U of Miami, is arguably Florida’s most prominent scientific voice on climate. He warns that our planning for sea level rise is not up to the levels we must expect. “Rather than building more in low-lying regions and spending public money on coastal defenses that are bound to fail, we should prepare to assist the eventual relocation of people and infrastructure from the most threatened areas (and clean the land before inundation).” The article is titled How Warming Oceans are Accelerating the Climate Crisis: Humans have locked in at least 20 feet of sea level rise—can we still fix it? https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/ocean-climate-change/

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