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: Australia out of step with new climate momentum

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

Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

7 hours ago

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

Australia out of step with new climate momentum

9 hours ago

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.