DID YOU KNOW?

  • In 1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect – and hence, solar panels. 
  • As of 2017, China builds 2 wind turbines every hour. 
  •  In 2016, California’s renewable energy firm SolarReserve commissioned the world’s first 24/7 solar power plant in the Nevada Desert; powering 75,000 homes for 3 hours a day. 
  •  A world record was set in 1990 when a solar-powered airplane flew across the United States in stages, using no fuel at all. 
  • According to the WWF, the whole world could get all the power it needs from renewable resources by 2050, ending our reliance on fossil fuels and other depleting resources – but only if the right political, financial and societal decisions are made, and quickly

 

MIGHTY MANGROVES

Mangroves are crucial in the face of climate change, Inhabitants of low lying coastal areas are particularly exposed to flooding and erosion caused by storms and hurricanes. These pressures have been intensified  with climate change and sea level rise. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, can play a key role in damage mitigation during disasters, as well as in stabilising coastlines. 

Mangroves also contribute to aquaculture and fisheries, they  may help to mitigate disaster risk and damage in the following ways by complementing other measures in a coastal defense strategy:

  1. Mangroves can reduce storm surge levels by up to half a meter for each kilometer of mangrove that the storm surge passes through.
  2. The height of wind and swell waves is reduced by 13 to 66 per cent within the first 100m of mangroves. These waves can be superimposed on top of storm surges, so their reduction can make a critical difference to storm impacts. Even during ‘everyday’ conditions, when such waves may be small, they still contribute to coastal erosion if their energy is not dissipated by a dense tangle of mangrove roots and branches. 
  3. Mangroves can help to stabilise sediments, both through their active growth and deposition of organic matter and by capturing sediments.

Recent studies  suggests  that in many areas mangroves may be able to keep pace with rising sea levels when the conditions are right. They do so by capturing sediments and organic matter, thus building up soils (and storing carbon in the process). This highlights the need to maintain and restore healthy mangroves and their sediment supplies, the integration of ecosystem-based coastal protection in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies and resulting measures to conserve these landscapes are essential if mangroves are to keep protecting us.