PhD candidate Hannah Muir is visiting BOSCORF this year on several occasions to split sediment cores taken from coastal and marine habitats around the Isle of Man. Her PhD research will investigate the ability of these sediments to store carbon, known as ‘blue carbon’.
The aim is to better understand how these environments can contribute to a net-zero future for the Isle of Man. Organic matter, such as plants, detrital material, and microorganisms, can be preserved in the sediment column when no oxygen is present. In this manner, these environments can store carbon, potentially for very long periods of time. However, many uncertainties remain about how much carbon is stored and how long this carbon is stored for.
Hannah Muir says that “if the sedimentary carbon stored around the Isle of Man is found to be significant, this could be used to inform sustainable management of the coastal and marine environments”. However, she emphasised that “there is still much to learn about the potential of blue carbon and transitioning to renewable forms of energy production is essential to achieving a net-zero future”.
The project is jointly organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), the National Oceanography Centre, and Swansea University.
See also: BBC news article