With a "Plop" sound, with a tray full of eelgrass seedlings, divers dived into the seabed of Sanggou Bay in Rongcheng, Weihai City, Shandong Province, planted the seedlings one by one, and then regularly recorded and observed their growth conditions.

Through the real-time video of the underwater camera, it can be seen that the deep seabed is in the seabed ecosystem constructed by stones, old fishing boats, and cement piles, and green seaweeds are attached to it.

  What is the reason for the painstaking effort to "plant grass on the seabed"?

It turns out that in addition to dense forests, the vast ocean can actually "eat" a lot of carbon.

As an important part of the global climate system, the ocean has a very significant carbon sequestration effect and has a huge regulating effect on the global environment and climate.

  Carbon sink refers to the process, activity or mechanism of reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through measures such as afforestation and vegetation restoration.

In 2009, the United Nations released the "Blue Carbon: An Assessment Report on Carbon Sequestration in Healthy Oceans". The ocean acts as a specific carrier to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the process and mechanism of its solidification is the ocean carbon sink (also known as blue carbon).

In my country, the potential of fishery carbon sinks cannot be ignored. Scientific research has proved that through the action of microorganisms, non-feeding shellfish culture helps to capture, fix and store carbon in seawater.

  In recent years, Shandong Weihai City has given full play to its unique "carbon pool" resource advantages, and took the lead in issuing the "Blue Carbon Economic Development Action Plan" in the country, starting from scientific research, mechanism exploration, value realization, etc. Three major systems of supply system and ecological economy will comprehensively build the infrastructure for the development of marine carbon sinks.

"Dual core" advantage

  "Growing grasses on the seafloor can play an important role in enhancing the carbon sink capacity of the coastal ecosystem. Simply put, the more seagrass that is grown on the seafloor, the more carbon will be 'sleeping' on the seafloor." Yellow Sea, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences Fang Jinghui, a Ph.D. from the Fisheries Research Institute, said that as an important part of the ocean carbon sink, the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrass beds has been globally recognized.

The oxygen produced by algae is supplied to fish and shellfish through photosynthesis, and the carbon emitted by marine animals is returned to algae for photosynthesis, thereby achieving ecological balance.

What is even more commendable is that during the growth process, they can also "eat" carbon in the air, "spit" particulate organic carbon, and become inert carbon under the action of microorganisms, thus completing the carbon fixation process. process.

  Studies have shown that one third of the carbon dioxide emitted by human beings is absorbed by the ocean, which is the largest carbon pool and carbon sink on the earth.

Jiao Nianzhi, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at Xiamen University, found that marine micro-organisms can convert active dissolved organic carbon into inert dissolved organic carbon, allowing long-term storage of organic carbon.

The theory of "micro-biological carbon pump" proposed by him believes that it is the carbon storage function of "micro-biological carbon pump" that converts active organic carbon into inert organic carbon so that carbon can be stored in the ocean for a long time.

  At the same time, Tang Qisheng, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, also regards the ocean as a specific carrier for absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Through his research, he found that marine organisms such as algae and shellfish offshore can absorb and fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, shell calcification and promotion of organic carbon deposition.

He put forward the theory of carbon sink fishery. Carbon sink fishery refers to the process and mechanism of promoting aquatic organisms to absorb carbon dioxide in water bodies through fishery production activities, and removing these carbons that have been converted into biological products out of water bodies through harvesting.

  Today, two high-end platforms, the Seagrass Bed Ecosystem Carbon Sequestration Observation Station established by Academician Tang Qisheng and the Shandong Province Ocean Negative Emission Academician Jiao Nianzhi Workstation, have successively landed in Weihai, enabling Weihai blue carbon research to establish a "dual-core" advantage.

The two academician workstations work together in different research directions and become the most valuable scientific research wealth of Weihai Blue Carbon.

In recent years, as a series of research centers, innovation centers, and experimental stations have successively landed in Weihai, Weihai has become one of the earliest areas in China to carry out marine carbon sink research and has the largest number of research teams, and has developed a unique marine carbon sink. Weihai "carbon" cable road.

Explore uncharted territory

  Who said that "no grass grows" on the saline-alkali desert?

Driving on the coast of Weihai, the rows of tamarisks are lush.

In four years, Weihai Blue Economy Research Institute has successively bred more than 20 new varieties suitable for growth in saline-alkali land, including Suaeda salsa, Tamarix, quinoa, Bermudagrass, and evening primrose.

Today, the first batch of tamarisk trees has an average height of 3 meters, and the tallest one has grown to 5 meters.

  Globally, although the three major coastal ecosystems—seagrass beds, mangroves, and salt marshes—are less than 0.5% of the seabed, their carbon storage accounts for more than 50% of the ocean’s carbon storage.

Among the three marine carbon sink ecosystems, in addition to mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes are widely distributed in Weihai.

  Recently, Shandong Province's first marine ranch "zero carbon" smart energy demonstration area was completed and put into operation in Weihai, which is expected to reduce coal consumption by 10,000 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100 tons each year.

In recent years, Weihai City has continuously increased its efforts in marine ecological restoration, adhered to both protection and ecological improvement, adhered to problem orientation, and focused on scientific restoration. Restoration and remediation projects include restoring 1 million square meters of beaches and 12,000 mu of wetlands, restoring 409,000 square meters of vegetation, placing 20,000 cubic meters of algae reefs, repairing more than 100 kilometers of damaged coastline, and sequestering nearly 1,000 tons of carbon annually.

  On May 12, with the sound of the motor, the cables were untied, and the two ships headed for the depths of the Weihai waters. Then they saw the people on board dropping sheets of alkaline minerals into the sea... Not long ago, the workstation of Academician Jiao Nianzhi The "Marine Negative Discharge Science Plan Seawater Alkaline Mineral Carbon Sequestration Experiment" project was officially launched in Weihai. The project studies the addition of alkaline minerals to seawater to improve the ability of seawater microorganisms to capture and sequester carbon dioxide.

"We are now conducting a small-scale sea area and marine water environment simulation pool test to obtain basic data. If feasible, we will extend it to larger sea areas to improve the marine carbon sink capacity of coastal waters in a larger area." Weihai City Lan Zhao Mingbo, dean of the Institute of Color Economics, said.

  In the waters of Sanggou Bay, Weihai City, the team of Academician Tang Qisheng has formed a three-dimensional multi-trophic comprehensive healthy breeding model of algae, ginseng, shellfish and fish, which has been promoted by the United Nations Development Program and other institutions.

At the same time, a series of methodologies such as fishery carbon sequestration methodology, coastal salt marsh wetland carbon sequestration methodology, and marine pasture carbon sequestration methodology have laid the foundation for promoting the transformation of marine ecological resources from ecological value to economic value; seagrass bed restoration has been included in the national marine Carbon sink capacity assessment pilot; the country's first "Blue Carbon Economic Development Action Plan" was released in Weihai. Weihai is striving to create a fishery carbon sink demonstration area and build a national fishery carbon sink work model.

Sprint towards "valuable"

  "Whooper swans are 'picky', and only when one area really shows ecological goodwill will they call friends and come gracefully. In recent years, the range of activities of whooper swans has expanded from remote Yandunjiao to other places. In the urban area of ​​Weihai, this is the high score that Whooper Swan has given us for ecological restoration." said Ma Shimin, a photographer who has followed and photographed Whooper Swan for a long time.

  Thanks to the continuous spread of seagrass in Sanggou Bay, Swan Lake, Dongchu Island and other sea areas in Weihai, the 2,500-mu seagrass bed has been continuously restored, and it has also attracted whooper swans thousands of miles away.

It turns out that seagrass can not only improve carbon sequestration capacity, but also the main food for whooper swans to inhabit during the winter.

Therefore, the total number of whooper swans wintering in Weihai is increasing year by year, and the species are becoming more and more abundant.

  Along with the Whooper Swan, there are also domestic and foreign tourists such as photography, painting, and popular science.

Statistics show that the annual tourism revenue of Weihai's "swan economy" exceeds 200 million yuan.

  Of course, there are still many ways for Weihai to open the transformation channel from clear waters and green mountains to golden mountains and silver mountains.

  20 million yuan!

A few days ago, Weihai Evergreen Marine Technology Co., Ltd. obtained the first “fishery carbon sink loan” in China, and the pledge is 425,000 tons of carbon emission rights.

As a result, blue carbon has changed from "priceless" to "valuable", taking the first step in Weihai.

  Under the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, invisible and intangible "blue carbon" and "green carbon" can become "real money" in Weihai.

Recently, Weihai Aofu Seedling Breeding Co., Ltd. also received a 25 million yuan "Forestry Carbon Sink Loan" issued by the bank.

  Carbon sink trading can not only achieve ecological benefits, but also create economic benefits.

The measurement of the carbon budget and carbon cycle of marine organisms involves a variety of basic sciences. How to calculate the reserves of fishery carbon sinks such as kelp and shellfish in a certain sea area?

Zhang Haibo, secretary of the Weihai Municipal Party Committee, said that Weihai has taken the lead in the field of marine carbon sinks and has achieved many achievements.

However, if you want to enter the carbon trading market, you are faced with a "bottleneck" without rules and certification. This urgently requires the development of carbon sink methodology. Only in this way can carbon sinks be calculated and included in the carbon trading system.

  At present, Weihai is making every effort to accelerate the construction of the marine carbon sink trading platform.

At the same time, the Shandong Provincial Marine Negative Emission Academician Workstation has completed the first voyage of the carbon sink survey in the aquaculture sea area of ​​Sanggou Bay, and the enclosed offshore experimental platform has also been launched at the Wanmu Kelp Breeding Wharf in Weihai.

The two activities have the same purpose - to provide a data basis for ocean carbon sink experiments, and ultimately realize carbon sink trading.

In the next step, the researchers of Weihai Blue Economy Research Institute will cooperate with the construction of academician workstations, and cooperate with scientific research institutes such as Shandong University Ocean Research Institute to continue to strengthen theoretical research and practical exploration in the field of marine negative emissions, and develop different types of marine negative emissions technologies. .

  "At present, my country has not filed the theoretical method of the marine carbon sink accounting system, and has not integrated marine carbon sink resources and terrestrial carbon sink resources into the emission trading system, and the process of realizing the capitalization of carbon sink resources is hindered." In Weihai Ocean Development Research Institute According to Vice President Wang Jiming, ocean carbon sink trading involves many fields such as technology, industry, capital, management, etc. It lacks standards in methodological filing, market transactions, etc., and the progress of work is greatly restricted.

He believes that to carry out ocean carbon sink trading, there must be tradable products that can be reasonably priced through scientific and standardized standards and procedures.

"For example, in theory, non-feeding mariculture has a carbon sink function, but how much carbon sink can be formed in different species, different sea areas, different farming methods and different time periods, a scientific, standardized and rigorous set of standard system." Wang Jiming said.

(Economic Daily reporter Wang Jinhu)

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