Between land and water
March 20, 2007 § Leave a comment
This article is part of a worst case scenario planning story.
Delta’s, marshes, swamps and bogs are very important as carbon sinks (stores, area’s of retention) because they have the potential to store carbon infinitely. Some mosses and plants do not decompose because of the wet, airless, acidic conditions, and plants keeps on growing, raising the level of the bog. These areas are also fantastic places for wildlife and home to many wyrdly rare and endangered species.
On a global scale, swamps, delta’s, marshes and bogs could be under threat. Many were and still are being drained for farming or forestry. Some are ‘milled’, and others suffer pressure from development or erosion from overgrazing or other use.
And perhaps swamps, delta’s, marshes and bogs are also at risk from climate change.
When the plants and mosses do not find wet airless conditions, they will start to decompose, thereby releasing carbon dioxide retained in the marsh. And that could result in more greenhouse gases and yet more increased climate change.
To make matters worse, dried out marshes and bogs are a fire risk. And when trees have appeared even more so. Such fires can be difficult to stop for they can burn for months underground. And these fires then help release even more of the stored carbon and greatly increase climate change.
- Rising seas endanger wetland wildlife. (smithsonianmag.com)
- Tibetan nomads struggle as grasslands disappear from the roof of the world (guardian.co.uk)
- Zoning needed to protect delta. (vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn)
- Warming threatens state’s coast, scientists say (sfgate.com)