Methane and rewetting

Explained in new film

SOM-Card for film "Why methane emissions do not undermine peatland rewetting (Illustration: Sarah Heuzeroth).

17/04/2024 This film is troubleshooting this peatland question: What’s the lesser evil - drained peatlands emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) or rewetting causing methane (CH4) emissions? Find answers on:
Do peatlands emit methane?
Yes! Wet peatlands – intact and rewetted – release methane, and the climate-damaging greenhouse gas is also produced when rewetting formerly drained areas. Methane has a much stronger effect on the climate than carbon dioxide , but - remains in the atmosphere for comparably short time.
Then better avoid rewetting to prevent methane emissions?
What’s the better choice for climate protection?
Addressing the climate crisis requires reducing atmospheric concentrations of all three greenhouse gases relevant to peatlands (CH4, CO2, nitrous oxide (N2O)). Rewetting effectively reduces long-lived CO2 emissions from peatlands to zero effectively and quickly and is therefore always the right choice for climate protection.
Can we control methane in rewetted peatlands? Yes!
It is possible to minimise methane emissions by various measures as removing biomass ahead of rewetting, avoiding long-term flooding and rewetting gradually.
Want to know more about the role of methane, peatlands and rewetting?
Watch the entire film on YouTube. Find more information in our factsheet The role of methane in peatland rewetting.

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