A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that absorbs and stores Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Why in news?
India has committed in its NDC – to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
The functions of Carbon sink:
Carbon sink absorbs and stores CO2 from the atmosphere. Carbon sink help to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and migrate the negative effects of climate change.
- Creating new carbon sinks from mangrove afforestation and reducing emissions from mangrove deforestation are two feasible ways for countries to meet their NDC targets and achieve carbon neutrality.
- It has also been revealed that mangroves can act as a buffer for Ocean acidification and act as a sink for microplastics.
- In the context of climate change and in particular mitigation, a sink is defined as “Any process, activity or mechanism which removes greenhouse gases, aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
Types of Carbon Sink:
- Natural Carbon Sink
- Artificial Carbon Sink
Natural Carbon Sinks: These are ecosystems that naturally absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. For example Soil, Forest, Ocean.
- Soil: It is a Carbon store and Carbon Sink.
- Forests: Plants use the Carbon of the atmosphere during Photosynthesis. In this process, the plants serve as Carbon Sinks.
- Ocean: The absorption of CO2 by the ocean by solubility and biological pumps.
Artificial Carbon Sink: These are human-made technologies that help in storing and capturing Carbon from the atmosphere. The artificial system cannot remove Carbon from the atmosphere on large scale. Examples of common artificial carbon sinks:
- Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): This technology captures CO2 emission from industrial processes such as power plants, and stores it underground.
- Direct Air Capture (DAC): The technology captures CO2 directly from the air and stores it underground or treated for other use.
Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. This tidal forest serves as a nursery ground for several organisms, protects the coastal erosion, sequestering the carbon, and provides the livelihood for millions of people besides harboring an array of faunal elements in its habitat.
- Mangroves are distributed in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and are found in 123 countries.
- Mangroves are among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. They account for 3% of carbon sequestered by the world’s tropical forests.
- Mangroves are the economic foundations of many tropical coastal regions. To sustain the blue economy, it is imperative to ensure the sustainability of coastal habitats, particularly mangroves for tropical nations, at the local, regional, and international levels.
- With notable adaptive features, mangroves are the natural armed forces of tropical and subtropical nations. They are the best option to fight against climate change consequences like sea levels rise and increased frequency of natural calamities like cyclones and storm surges.
- India is committed to the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems; and has strong commitments to the conservation and management of mangroves.
- One of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans supports an exceptional level of biodiversity in both the terrestrial and marine environments, including significant populations of a range of flora and plant species; species of wildlife wide range of fauna, including the Bengal Tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python. There is a significant increase observed in mangrove cover in India in its Andaman region; Sundarbans region; and Gujarat region.
You can also read:
- Important Environmental Laws Of India
- RAMSAR- Wetland Sites in India
- Montreal Protocol
- Carbon Cycle