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Known as 'Blue Carbon', seagrass meadows have been estimated to store CO2 in their soils about 30 times faster than most terrestrial forests. Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research at Edith Cowan University

AUS - New study sparks fresh call for seagrass preservation

An increase in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 5 million cars a year has been caused by the loss of seagrass meadows around the Australian coastline since the 1950s.

An increase in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 5 million cars a year has been caused by the loss of seagrass meadows around the Australian coastline since the 1950s.

The stark finding was made possible by new modelling done by marine scientists at the Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia.

PhD student Cristian Salinas calculated that around 161,150 hectares of seagrass have been lost from Australian coasts since the 1950s, resulting in a 2 per cent increase in annual carbon dioxide emissions from land-use change.

The figures derive from Mr Salinas's research into the current carbon stocks of Cockburn Sound off the coast of Western Australia.

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