Drained wetlands give off same amount of greenhouse gases as industry, researchers find

Nov 26, 2012

Drained wetlands in Sweden account for the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as Swedish industry. This is shown by a summary of research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Forests and agricultural fields on drained previous wetlands make up between five and ten percent of Sweden's surface area. When these wetlands are drained, they become a significant source of .

"We note that drained wetlands which have been forested or used for agricultural purposes are a significant potential source of greenhouse gases of a magnitude that is at least comparable with the industrial sector's greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden."

Emissions from these drained wetlands can be reduced, but that involves rewetting the land – resulting in a negative impact on forestry production. According to the researchers, compromises may be necessary.

"As long as wetlands remain wet, only methane is given off," says Åsa Kasimir Klemedtsson from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg. "However, for more than a hundred years land has been drained for agriculture and forestry, producing large quantities both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide."

Together with researcher Örjan Berglund from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Dr Kasimir Klemedtsson was commissioned by the Swedish during the summer and autumn of 2012 to compile information about from drained wetlands.

New rules were introduced at last year's Durban with the second phase. These rules include the possibility of reporting wetland drainage or rewetting of drained wetlands. Sweden now faces the choice of whether to include these ahead of the second Kyoto Protocol phase.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Flooding might help lower gas emission from wetlands

Sep 23, 2008

River floods and storms that send water surging through swamps and marshes near rivers and coastal areas might cut in half the average greenhouse gas emissions from those affected wetlands, according to recent research at ...

Greenhouse gases rise to record high in 2010: UN

Nov 21, 2011

The amount of global warming-causing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to a new high in 2010, and the rate of increase has accelerated, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

Wetlands the primary source of Amazon Basin methane

Aug 31, 2012

The Amazon basin is an important sink of carbon dioxide, but it is also a substantial source of atmospheric methane. Tropical wetlands, including those in the Amazon, are one of the largest sources of biogenic methane and ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...