From: Oregon State University
Published April 10, 2017 03:29 PM

Greenhouse gas effect caused by mangrove forest conversion is quite significant

Clear-cutting of tropical mangrove forests to create shrimp ponds and cattle pastures contributes significantly to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming, new research suggests.

A seven-year study, led by Oregon State University and the Center for International Forestry Research, spanned five countries across the topics from Indonesia to the Dominican Republic. The researchers concluded that mangrove conversion to agricultural uses resulted in a land-use carbon footprint of 1,440 pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere for the production of every pound of beef; and 1,603 pounds of released carbon dioxide for every pound of shrimp.

“On a personal scale, this means a typical steak and shrimp cocktail dinner produced through mangrove conversion would burden the atmosphere with 1,795 pounds of carbon dioxide,” said J. Boone Kauffman, an ecologist at Oregon State University who led the study.

“This is approximately the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by driving a fuel-efficient automobile from Los Angeles to New York City,” he said.

Read more at Oregon State University

Photo: Honduran and OSU students collect data necessary to determine the carbon stocks of a shrimp pond in Honduras. The mangrove forest is in the background.

Photo by J. Boone Kauffman, courtesy of Oregon State University

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