SOURCE: Science Daily

DATE: March 28, 2018

SNIP: Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas — a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, a new study shows.

Research into natural peatlands such as fens, swamps and bogs, as well as drained peatlands, found that either draining wet soils or irrigating well drained soils boosts the emission of nitrous oxide significantly.

Dr Sami UllahProf UÜlo Mander, Senior Lecturer in Biogeochemistry, at the University of BirminghamTartu, who conceived this research with a global network of 36 scientists said: “Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter — it is a significant contributor to global climate change and depletion of the ozone layer, which protects our planet from cosmic radiation.

“Organic soils, such as fens, swamps, bogs and drained peatlands, make up more than one-tenth of the world’s soil nitrogen pool and are a significant global source of laughing gas. They are significant sources of nitrous oxide when drained for cultivation.”