Methane emission bogs will increase by 80 percent by the end of the XXI century, if people do not reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. At the moment, the contribution of methane to climate change is not so great, but its concentration in the atmosphere may increase dramatically against the backdrop of increasing average temperature and rainfall. The researchers analyzed the response of wetland ecosystems to climate change in five natural zones, using different scenarios of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The results of their study published in the journal Science Advances.
Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide: the level of its emissions much lower, but the potential impact on global warming higher in the 28 to 34 times. Wetlands are a major source of methane, contributing from 30 to 40 per cent in the total volume of its emissions. Methane emission by bog ecosystems depends on air temperature, depth of groundwater, and the characteristics of accumulated organic matter. Climate change affects all three factors of methanogenesis and raises questions about the feedback between the natural production of methane and climate change.
Also bog ecosystem take an active part in the absorption and conservation of carbon dioxide, permanently removing it from the biological cycle. Their violation in the course of business activities and growth as a result of melting permafrost threatens to shift the balance in the exchange of carbon dioxide and methane between bogs and the atmosphere. The role of wetland ecosystems in the global climate system are often underestimated, but they are in need of protection and careful study.
Ernest Koffi (Koffi Ernest N.) and his colleagues at the joint research centre of the European Commission conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the response of wetland ecosystems of the planet on climate change. They divided the globe into five climatic zones which are characterized by different conditions of formation of the marshes: Arctic, boreal, moderate, tropical and arid (desert). They also included in the inverse modelling not only the changes of air temperatures, but the amount of rainfall according to the equation of Clausius—Clapeyron (with the increase in air temperature by one degree Celsius is the increase in precipitation at seven percent).