Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wetlands need to be preserved

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for some periods of time during the year, including during the growing season
Wetlands such as swamps, mangroves, marshes cover about 6 % of the Earth's land surface. Wetlands ply important role by storing up to 20 percent of terrestrial carbon in the form of slowly decaying organic matter, containing about 771 billion tons of greenhouses gases - carbon dioxide and methane- which is amount similar to the one already in the atmosphere.

Just like the forests, wetlands are almost equally important in fight against climate change and need to be preserved. However this will not be easy since 60 percent of wetlands around the world have been destroyed in the past century in order to provide more space for farming. If this negative trend continues massive amounts of carbon will be released into the atmosphere which will increase concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and worsen the climate change consequences.

Scientists agree that wetlands preservation is vital for our planet's health but they are also aware that finding the right solution for their preservation will be a difficult task because as the Earth population grows there also grows the need for more farms which often results in man's destruction of wetlands.

Not only are wetlands important in storing up the carbon but also as professor Wolfgang Junk of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology said "Wetlands act as sponges and their role as sources, reservoirs and regulators of water is largely underappreciated by many farmers and others who rely on steady water supplies."

Therefore we definitely need to preserve our existing wetlands but the real question is how?

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