Fjords cover 0.1% of the world’s ocean surface absorb 18 million tonnes of carbon a year

In a study published on Monday, scientists have claimed that Fjords from Norway to Alaska are soaking up a large amount of potentially harmful carbon from the atmosphere. This, according to the researchers, makes these long and narrow inlets useful natural tools for fighting manmade climate change.

According to the said study, Fjords in spite of covering just 0.1% of the ocean surface in our planet, accounts for as much as 11% of organic carbon present in rocks, soils and plants that get buried into the marine sediments after getting washed away by rivers.


The research team conducting this study described the steep-faced inlets, which were carved out of glaciers during the ice ages, as the major oceanic hotspots for carbon burial. According the US-led team of researchers, they have come to this conclusion after gathering strong evidence supporting the fact that the fjords are home to huge quantity of buried carbon. You can read the entire study in the famous science journal Nature Geoscience.

The findings of this study will help the researchers to improve their knowledge of the process adopted by carbon for cycling through nature. These findings will also assist researchers to combat manmade climate changes more effectively. This is because carbon’s airborne version CO2 (carbon dioxide) is known for being the main manmade greenhouse gas responsible for stoking up global warming.

According to the researchers, fjords can store carbon so efficiently primarily because they are deep. The other reasons behind fjords’ incredible ability of storing carbon include: the heavy flow of carbon loaded waters they get from rivers and the oxygen-starved, calm waters they possess; for those who don’t know: oxygen-starved calm waters allows the carbon to sink quickly before bacteria break it down.

This recently published study revealed that every year fjords absorb around 18 million tons of carbon globally. This study looked at fjords in different parts of the globe including Greenland, Alaska, New Zealand, Chile, Antarctica, Canada and Nordic nations.

The team of scientists at the Global Aquatic Research LLC, a New York based organization, believe that fjords have always been ignored as sites that can house carbon in huge quantities. This study, however, has succeeded in changing that trend. Here, it must be mentioned that the research team was lead by Richard Smith, an American scientist.