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Blue carbon

Jan. 8, 2014--Mangroves, the dense forests found along tropical and subtropical coastlines, have some specialized trees that can take in air through their roots at low tide and excrete salt right out of their leaves.

The unusual ecosystems can also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, making them a natural solution for controlling greenhouse gases.

Disrupt them, however, and they’ll put that carbon right back into the atmosphere.

Sunny Jardine, an assistant professor of marine policy who joined the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment earlier this year, studies the environmental benefits of mangroves and the economics behind their deforestation.

“You can avoid all these emissions if you can convince them to stop deforesting the mangroves,” Jardine said.