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Brown algae — true miracle plants when it comes to absorbing carbon dioxide from the air.
In this they surpass even forests on land and thus play a decisive role for the atmosphere and our climate.
Researchers from the Institute of Marine Microbiology. Max Planck reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that brown algae can remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the global cycle in the long term and thus can counteract global warming.
Algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it for growth. They release up to a third of the carbon they absorb back into the sea water, for example, in the form of sugary secretions. Depending on the structure of these secretions, they are either quickly used by other organisms or sink to the seabed.
Brown algae are amazingly productive. It is estimated that they absorb about 1 gigaton (one billion tons) of carbon per year from the air. Using the results of this study, this would mean that up to 0.15 gigaton of carbon, which is equivalent to 0. 55 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide is taken up annually by brown algae in the long term.
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