Team Explores Salt Marsh Restoration to Offset Global Warming

Posted 1 week, 6 days ago @   - 

Salt marshes have been flooded by inland freshwater along nearly a third of the U.S. Atlantic coast, due to diversions by dams, dikes, and other human constructs. This hurts more than the natural biodiversity of a saltwater system. As salt marshes freshen, they emit more and more methane—a powerful greenhouse gas.

“A molecule of methane is 30 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than a molecule of carbon dioxide,” says Jim Tang, an associate scientist in the MBL Ecosystems Center.

Tang and his colleagues at the Bringing Wetlands to Market (BWM) project are laying out a framework for returning salt marshes to their natural salinity by removing various tidal restrictions. In a recently published study, they modeled the rate of methane emissions from freshened marshes and suggested mitigations to the problem.

by Stephanie M. McPherson

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