A new study published by Rutgers University has highlighted the adverse impacts of greenhouse emissions on mangrove forests as they stand vulnerable to complete extinction by 2050. A major repercussion of the surging amount of greenhouse gasses will be rising sea levels which might wipe away the trees resulting in disappearance of mangroves completely. As a result, the world will experience serious imbalance in carbon dioxide levels essential for heating the plant, with more recurrences from storms and coastal erosion. With every rise in sea levels by six millimetres per year, the trees get slimmer chances of survival beyond 30 years.
The blow to ecosystem is not merely limited to reduction in carbon, but subsequent extinction of fish and wildlife that the forests nurture. Coastal areas largely depend on the mangrove forests for a protective barrier against erosion and hurricanes. In Florida alone, mangroves protect 1,800 miles of coastline while in
the 3900 sq mi. of mangroves protect the locales against flooding and strong winds. The situation is graver in Tampa Bay that has already lost half of its mangroves cover in the last century. Communities living along the shorelines are likely to be prone to the ravages of extreme weather conditions. Millions across the globe rely on mangroves for their very fibre of life.
“We have an opportunity here to take action and to keep the rates of sea level rise below these critical thresholds, which is part of the reason that this is an important study,” commented Erica Ashe, scientist and one of the lead authors of the study on disappearance of mangroves published by Rutgers University.