One of the great unsolved scientific questions of our time is how does the ocean impact climate change? The seascape is the ultimate sink for carbon emissions and, in a time of climate emergency, could be an immense ally in efforts to slow runaway climate change. The role of mangroves, seagrass and saltmarsh ecosystems to sequester and store carbon is increasingly recognised. But there is limited understanding of the dynamics of the carbon cycle across the global continental shelves.
The Convex Seascape Survey is a five-year, pioneering global research project that will generate the critical data and insight on how to manage the ocean sustainably to maximise its carbon storage capabilities. It will deliver new, reliable, open-source data on continental shelf carbon which will educate, inspire and enable informed decisions on ocean use. The survey is addressing questions such as: Where are the biggest stores of carbon in shelf seas? How and when did they get there? What is the role of life and biodiversity on these stores? And how does past and present human activity affect seascape carbon?
Alongside scientific research, the project is delivering a programme of communication and education to raise awareness of how ocean health is linked to the climate. A key aim is to engage young people, the public, governments and decision-makers with the value of ocean carbon and the need to urgently protect it in order to limit global temperature rises. Gathering accurate data to quantify how healthy seascapes thriving with life can absorb carbon has never been more crucial.
Find out about the first year of the project in our year one review, by clicking the picture below.
The ocean captures 40% of the carbon emitted by burning fossil fuels
Coastal seas stretch from the shores to depths of 200m, making up 7% of the ocean’s surface
Continental shelf seabed habitats cover an area 38 times larger than marine vegetated ecosystems
By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting Blue Marine, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.