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MƒA Thursday Think: Mangrove Mystery -- The Missing Carbon

Featuring Dr. David Ho


Thursday ThinkDespite their relatively small area, coastal ecosystems sequester a disproportionate amount of carbon compared to other terrestrial ecosystems. Carbon sequestered in these ecosystems by mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes is commonly referred to as Blue Carbon. There is a mystery involving mangroves. Even though these forests sequester more carbon per area than any other ecosystem on Earth and do so at a higher rate, over half of this carbon appears to be missing from the carbon budget. Dr. Ho set out to solve this mystery by conducting research on this missing carbon sink in the largest contiguous mangrove forest in North America, located wholly within Everglades National Park in South Florida. On this journey to solve the mystery, he strikes up collaborations with scientists in the United States, Australia, Vietnam, and China. This talk will touch on the scientific method, and also gives examples about how connections are made in science to further knowledge.


Dr. David HoDr. David Ho is a Professor of Oceanography at University of Hawaii at Manoa, who has conducted research on all seven continents and five oceans on Earth. His research interests include processes controlling air-water gas exchange in coastal and open oceans environments, carbon cycling in mangrove and coral reef ecosystems, and the use of tracers to study transport processes in aquatic systems. He graduated from Columbia University in 1994 with A.B. degrees in Environmental Science and in Philosophy, and was awarded his Ph.D. from Columbia University with distinction in 2001 from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He conducted his postdoctoral research at Princeton University, and was a Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for many years before moving to his current position.