The Convex Seascape Survey, in an announcement at COP 28 today, has unveiled the latest discoveries from its ambitious five-year global research initiative. This comprehensive program aims to provide crucial data and insights into the imperative need for integrating the ocean into global strategies to mitigate climate change.
Current knowledge about the role of marine animals in carbon cycling within the seascape mud is predominantly based on a limited number of species worldwide. The recent fieldwork conducted in Millport, Scotland, has significantly advanced our understanding by mapping the burrowing behavior of lesser-known sea creatures, emphasizing “bioturbation.” This groundbreaking research, surpassing previous efforts by 150%, has been playfully dubbed “The Great British Bioturbation-athon” by scientists.
Building upon existing scientific methods used to study microplastic ingestion and movement by seafloor animals, researchers expanded their analysis to include replicants for 17 new species—a pioneering effort in detailed assessment. The findings highlight the diverse roles of various creatures inhabiting seafloor muds, such as worms, clams, brittle stars, and sea slugs. These organisms contribute significantly to the extraction of carbon from the water, burying it in the seabed. The unprecedented insights gained from this research underscore the potential of these animals to store carbon, thereby reducing atmospheric carbon levels and benefiting the planet.