The Everglades Superpower: Reducing Global Warming

The Everglades Superpower: Reducing Global Warming

Not only does Everglades National Park provide shelter, water, and recreation for millions, researchers are now reporting on an “Everglades Superpower” – the ability to reduce global warming.

Here at Everglades Holiday Park, we are not surprised to hear that the mangroves forests (salt tolerant trees that grow with dense, tangled roots into the water) are a great contributor to the environment and preserving its state. Mangroves are beneficial to the Everglades in several ways: they are adapted to life in saltwater environments, they can withstand the extremely harsh growing conditions that come with the South Florida heat, and they serve as protection against strong winds and hurricanes. These mangrove forests play an essential role in providing shelter for thousands of different animals, and researchers have now found that these trees can store carbon dioxide underwater.

How does this work? Mangrove trees send carbon into the soil, then trap it underneath the water. The carbon will remain in place if the soil remains undisturbed. Studies have shown that this method is creating a very effective storage system for carbon. Researchers are crediting that mangroves in the Everglades are “worth billions” in the fight against climate change. A scientific cost estimate attributed the stored carbon between $2 billion and $3.4 billion.

The incoming flow of freshwater to the Everglades is essential to keeping these mangroves alive. If there isn’t enough freshwater, the Everglades is at risk of losing mangroves, which could then release carbon into the atmosphere. The effect of the Everglades’ mangrove forests on global warming is yet another reason our captains strive to teach conservation and preservation efforts on our Everglades airboat tours.

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