Blue Carbon as a Nature-based Solution to Fight Climate Change


  • Krisztina Toth – infographic design, of both the visual elements and the presentation of scientific concepts
  • Prof Bill Austin – overseeing project, providing scientific input and helping to develop concepts
  • Marcelina Lekawska – providing scientific input about blue carbon to feature on the infographic

School of Geography and Sustainable Development

Researchers at the University of St Andrews C-Side project team work on producing the scientific evidence that blue carbon habitats are valuable tools against climate change, due to their potential for long-term carbon storage. This infographic was featured in the Royal Society of Scotland’s 2021 Summer Science Exhibition, as a means of increasing public engagement with the topic of blue carbon. Increasing public awareness of the power of nature in the fight against climate change aligns with Scottish government ambitions for COP26, and highlights the University’s important role in this area.

This infographic demonstrates the process by which blue carbon habitats, such as saltmarshes, store carbon by removing carbon dioxide from the air. This prevents the release of greenhouse gases, associated with plant decomposition, into the atmosphere for millennia. This shows the power of blue carbon habitats to limit the extent of global warming, an important tool in the overall effort to combat climate change. Many people do not realise that, area-for-area, blue carbon habitats can actually be more efficient at carbon capture and storage than terrestrial forests.

The overall project was overseen by Professor Bill Austin, as a part of his blue carbon research at the University of St Andrews for the C-Side Project. Student Marcelina Lekawska worked on this project as part of a project on increasing public engagement with blue carbon research, funded by the Laidlaw Foundation. Image design was created by student Krisztina Toth, with scientific input about blue carbon provided by Marcelina Lekawska and Professor Bill Austin.