Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change
Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Every day, levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere continue to rise exponentially. The consequences of this rise are catastrophic — we will see more severe and frequent weather disasters, much higher rates of heat-related deaths, increased air pollution, higher extinctionrates, and more. Some of the many options for combatting this issue include reducing carbon emissions, implementing geoengineering, and utilizing carbon sequestration technology. However, perhaps the most important solutions are based in the natural world. Nature-based solutions to climate change not only remove carbon from the atmosphere, but also help us mitigate other dangerous impacts of climate change. These solutions are adaptive, cost effective, and include a slew of important co-benefits.
By protecting and sustainably managing natural ecosystems, we can harness the power of carbon sinks. Carbon sinks are reservoirs that absorb more carbon than they emit into the atmosphere, effectively sequestering it and helping to counteract climate change. Examples of carbon sinks include the ocean, forests, kelp farms, mangroves, and more. A 2015 study found that unless carbon sinks in current protected areas are both preserved and expanded, their ability to sequester carbon will decline. Protecting and expanding these areas when possible is imperative to combatting both the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, while also promoting human well-being.
Beyond contributing to carbon sequestration, the co-benefits of nature-based solutions include reducing air and water pollution, increasing biodiversity, and benefiting local communities. A study by the University of Oxford found that 59% of nature-based interventions meant to sequester carbon also reduce climate impacts such as soil erosion, flooding, and loss of food production. They can also provide goods and services that help boost the local economy and build equity in terms of health and climate resilience. Mangrove forests, for example, support local fisheries, offer natural barriers against storms and erosion, and provide food resources, all while storing massive amounts of carbon. Nature-based solutions are an incredibly important component of an equitable fight against climate change.
Albo provides a unique tool for measuring the success of carbon sequestration efforts like this. By applying AI to satellite imagery, we are able to quantify and monitor the amount of carbon being removed from the atmosphere as a result of different nature-based projects. Our technology makes it possible for corporations to accurately and efficiently offset their emissions by investing in natural climate solutions.
Written by River Hayes, Research and Communications Intern at Albo Climate