Scientists Say Underwater Meadow Of Seagrass Helping Fight Climate Change

CBS4's Ian Lee explains.

Video Transcript

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: It's one of the largest meadows in the world, and scientists say it's helping to fight climate change. But the lush space isn't where you'd expect to find it. CBS4's Ian Lee reports from London.

IAN LEE: This ship is sailing to a place few have been.

- It's in unchartered waters.

IAN LEE: Uncharted waters scientists say could hold the keys to combating climate change. A look below the waves in this corner of the Indian Ocean, reveals a carpet of green for miles and miles.

KIRSTIN THOMPSON: It appears that it is the largest contiguous seagrass bed ever, globally.

IAN LEE: Scientists say seagrass like this underwater meadow, captures more planet-warming carbon dioxide per square mile than a forest. That's a lot, considering the plateau is roughly the size of Switzerland.

SHAAMA SANDOOYEA: It stores carbon, so it's our biggest tool against the climate crisis.

IAN LEE: It's also home to a lot of sea life.

- It was simply amazing. A lot of seagrass, corals, small schools of fish.

IAN LEE: But environmental experts say seagrass is in danger. With the world losing a football fields worth every 30 minutes, because of human activity. Activist Shaama Sandooyea dove deep to get the message out.

SHAAMA SANDOOYEA: We're demanding climate action, strong climate actions, which includes protecting this huge area.

IAN LEE: Scientists say protecting the environment will also preserve our future. Ian Lee CBS News.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: Well, experts say the tangled roots of seagrasses are estimated to hold more than 10% of the carbon buried in ocean sediment every year.