New Study: Global Wetland Loss Since 1700 “Far Less” Than Previously Estimated

EIKE latest climate video (German) here reports on a recent Stanford University-led study that found global wetlands losses had been grossly overestimated, too pessimistic.

Image cropped here

According to the study, the U.S. has accounted for more wetland conversion and degradation than any other country. Overall, the study investigated wetlands in 144 countries.

Researchers find that the wetland ecosystems area has declined 21-35% (3.36 million square kilometers, an area larger than India)) since 1700 – due to human intervention, e.g. drainage. Though this may sound dramatic, it is “far less than the 50-87% losses estimated by previous studies.”

It needs to be noted that data before 1850 is scarce.

“Discovering that fewer wetlands have been lost than we previously thought gives us a second chance to take action against further declines,” said study co-author Peter McIntyre, an ecologist at Cornell University. “These results provide a guide for prioritizing conservation and restoration.”

One response to “New Study: Global Wetland Loss Since 1700 “Far Less” Than Previously Estimated”

  1. Eyrie

    Unfortunately we have stopped draining swamps.

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