Thursday, March 09, 2017

IMPACTS OF SWAMP DRAINING ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The current occupant of the Whitehouse was elected on the promise, among others, of “draining the swamp” in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, he did not consult the EPA or other agencies responsible for the environment. Had he done his due diligence, he might have been required to go through the appropriate regulatory reviews in order to do the draining.

Swamps are a type of wetland. Wetlands cover approximately six to nine per cent of the Earth’s surface and contain about 35 per cent of global terrestrial carbon. Scientists are concerned that disturbances to wetlands, such as draining them, can exacerbate climate change. Typical concerns are:

"For the first time we are getting a sense that greenhouse gas losses from drained and degraded coastal wetlands may be globally significant and that drained organic-rich soils continuously release carbon for decades."



"Clearing or drainage of wetlands can lead to large losses of stored organic carbon to atmospheric carbon dioxide."

Wetlands are also a source of methane to the atmosphere. Methane is a powerful climate change gas, and draining wetlands can result in increased emissions.

Unfortunately, the man now in the Whitehouse has repeatedly stated that human-induced climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by China (!). He also seems to have a negative attitude about science, a discipline based in facts.

Our new Whitehouse occupant has also assigned the federal agency responsible for wetland, air quality and emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency, to an enemy of that agency, Scott Pruitt, with the apparent assignment of greatly reducing the EPA role and regulations. And as expected, in an interview this morning, Mr. Pruitt claimed that human-caused climate change is controversial, and that CO2 is not a factor.

How ironic is it that the person now in charge of the USA, who doesn’t give a tupPence about climate change, will greatly accelerate such change by fulfilling his promise to drain the swamp; and without the required environmental permits? Of course, the EPA very soon will not require any such permits, so, well, there you go.

And I haven’t even discussed the impact of the greatly increased amount of hot air from the Whitehouse on our changing climate.

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