Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Sundarbans among 5 sites with highest ‘Blue Carbon’ globally

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Blue carbon, Sunderbans

Mains level : Carbon sequestration

India’s Sundarbans National Park is among five sites that have the highest blue carbon stocks globally, according to a new assessment.

Highlights of the study

  • ‘World Heritage forests’ are now releasing more carbon than they are absorbing, primarily due to human activity and climate change, according to the assessment.
  • UNESCO lists 50 sites across the globe for their unique marine values. These represent just one per cent of the global ocean area.
  • But they comprise at least 15 per cent of global blue carbon assests.

Try this question from CSP 2021:

Q. What is blue carbon?

(a) Carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems

(b) Carbon sequestered in forest biomass and agricultural soils

(c) Carbon contained in petroleum and natural gas

(d) Carbon present in atmosphere

 

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Carbon capacity of Sundarbans

  • The Sundarbans National Park has stores of 60 million tonnes of carbon (Mt C).
  • The other four sites besides the Sundarbans National Park in India are:
  1. Bangladeshi portion of the Sundarbans (110 Mt C)
  2. Great Barrier Reef in Australia (502 Mt C)
  3. Everglades National Park in the US (400 Mt C) and
  4. Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania (110 Mt C)

About Sundarbans

  • Sundarbans is the largest delta and mangrove forest in the world.
  • The Indian Sunderbans, which covers 4,200 sq km, comprises of the Sunderban Tiger Reserve of 2,585 sq km is home to about 96 Royal Bengal Tigers (2020) is also a world heritage site and a Ramsar Site.
  • The Indian Sunderbans is bound on the west by river Muriganga and on the east by rivers Harinbhahga and Raimangal.
  • Other major rivers flowing through this eco-system are Saptamukhi, Thakuran, Matla and Goasaba.

Worrying scenario

  • The researchers found that 10 of 257 forests emitted more carbon than they captured between 2001 and 2020.
  • The reasons for included clearance of land for agriculture, the increasing scale and severity of wildfires due to drought as well as extreme weather phenomena.
  • The 10 sites are:
  1. Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia)
  2. Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)
  3. Yosemite National Park (US)
  4. Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (Canada, US)
  5. Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains (South Africa)
  6. Kinabalu Park (Malaysia)
  7. Uvs Nuur Basin (Russian Federation, Mongolia)
  8. Grand Canyon National Park (US)
  9. Greater Blue Mountains Area (Australia)
  10. Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)

(Try mapping these sites)


Back2Basics: Types of Carbon

  • Brown Carbon: It is brown smoke released by the combustion of organic matter.
  • Black Carbon: It is also a greenhouse gas and causes more pollution than Brown Carbon. The particles leftover from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (soot and dust). It has a greater effect on radiation transmission.
  • Green Carbon: Carbon incorporated into plant biomass and the soils below. Green carbon is carbon removed by photosynthesis and stored in the plants and soil of natural ecosystems.
  • Blue Carbon: Blue Carbon refers to coastal, aquatic and marine carbon sinks held by the indicative vegetation, marine organism and sediments.

 

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