Dr. Pia Winberg, a Marine Ecologist in Australia, says on this BBC Earthlab’s Future Planet video that seaweeds are so diverse because they’re such an ancient organism. They also represent a potential seaweed solution to climate change. For example, if we were to develop the infrastructure in the oceans and created seaweed islands, we would eliminate a lot of the climate change issues we have today.
“Australia is an isolated continent and, just like we have koala and gum trees on land, we’ve got unique seaweed species only found in Australia,” she says. “Seaweeds are a platform of opportunity in sustainability, nutrition, and innovation. I always say Australians were the first users of seaweed, because there’s evidence from 45,000 years ago in Tasmania where they used the kelps and sewed them into water carriers.”
To tackle climate change, Winberg says, “We need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere and we also need to look at ways of drawing down that carbon dioxide. Kelp growing so quickly absorbs and sequesters a huge amount of carbon dioxide, so the cycling of carbon through growing crops — faster in seawater than on land — is one important way we can reduce our carbon emissions.”
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