Scientists are finding fjords to be a natural cause of carbon burial during a time of grave importance.
The fjords of Norway are of great interest when it comes to the detrimental concern of the primary greenhouse gas blamed for global warming; carbon. Fjords are one of the most prominent sources for burying carbon on the planet, and in turn, a tool to observe how nature cycles carbon naturally, according to a study published by American scientists in Nature Geoscience.
What exactly is a fjord? A term derived from Norwegian origins, a fjord refers to a long, narrow body of water — a general description compared to how fjord is used in English, which describes inlets with steep cliffs formed by glacial erosion.
It is estimated that annually these inlets absorb a mega 18 million tons of carbon. These immense amounts of carbon-saturated water enters a fjord through meeting with rivers. Fjords are able to house the carbon deposits deep into its own waters which, deep within, lack oxygen. The waters of the fjords thus lack necessary bacteria to further release the carbon into the atmosphere, therefore the storage remains.
Norway is perhaps most famous for its fjords, but they can also be found in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Chile, Antarctica, and New Zealand, according to statecolumn.com.
In fact, fjords nicely counteract plants and help assist them in keeping carbon buried. Plants drink in the carbon dioxide through their roots and stems as food, causing their leaves to grow. Carbon gets buried in the soil once the plant dies and is released into the atmosphere as the vegetation breaks down. Fjords assist in that they keep the carbon from escaping.
Fascinating phenomena also exist in other life forms in fjords such as: coral reefs, plankton, anemones, fish, and sharks. These reefs differ from tropical reefs in that they exist in great depths of total darkness and high pressure.
The solution of the fjord storage system may only be fleeting as global warming may cause the glaciers to move and therefore release carbon deposits from the soil into the atmosphere. Even still, the discovery of the carbon burial process in the fjords only helps scientists to better comprehend how carbon cycling works on a planetary scale.
The urgent matter of global temperatures rising above the disastrous quantity of two degrees Celsius will be brought up at the end of this year during a summit in Paris. If temperatures do exceed this threshold, which is predicted, frequent and severe famines, violent storms, flooding, rising temperatures, and other problems are also predicted to follow suit.
As the global climate change is of grave concern, observing how nature can absorb carbon, as well as how we can vastly reduce our emissions and resourcefully redirect them remains at the heavy forefront to our understanding of how to maintain the natural balance of the planet .