Blue Carbon: Why it is important

RC Parida & HS Fatesingh


When we think of carbon, a deep black material comes to mind; however, it exists in nature as several allotropes with different colours. For example, graphite is grey-black, while amorphous carbons such as soot, lamp black and carbon black are black, diamond is colourless, and fullerenes are yellow to brown. In many other forms, inorganic carbons have different colours too. Now, a colour-based description has emerged, describing the properties and distributions of organic carbon, including black, brown, red, blue, green and teal. Colours like blue, green, and teal highlight the role of carbon in climate change mitigation through sequestration, and colours like black, brown, and red are related to the Earth’s heat balance or the promotion of cryospheric melting.

Among those, blue carbon, which refers to the carbon sequestered by oceanic environments such as mangrove forests, salt marshes, and sea grasses, including weeds and sediments, is considered the most important. This has also attracted the special interest of policymakers and environmental scientists as a solution for climate change mitigation. This is because blue carbon ecosystems are the most…read more on NOPR