Wild PIGS emit about 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide around the world every year — the equivalent of 1.1 million cars, study finds
- Wild pigs turn fields ‘just like tractors’, releasing trapped carbon from the soil
- Experts led by the University of Queensland modeled wild pig populations
- The team created 10,000 population maps across five continents
- They then calculated the impact of the pigs’ foraging on the soil and their carbon
- The findings, the team said, highlight the need to better manage pig populations
By uprooting carbon trapped in soil, feral pigs release about 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide annually around the world, a study has warned.
This is the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of 1.1 million cars, said experts from the universities of Queensland, Australia and Canterbury, New Zealand.
In their study, the researchers combined predictive population models with advanced mapping techniques to determine the impact of wild boars on climate.
The team simulated 10,000 maps of potential wild pig densities across five continents based on existing data on the numbers and distribution of the animals.
They then modeled how much soil would be disturbed by these pigs based on previous studies of foraging damage in different climatic conditions.
The findings, the team said, highlight the impact that invasive species such as wild boar can have and the need for better controls to manage their populations.
Wild pig populations are typically managed using methods such as hunting, bait, setting traps and installing barriers to stop their spread to new areas.
By uprooting carbon trapped in soils, feral pigs release about 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide annually around the world, a study has warned. In the photo: a wild pig
The team simulated 10,000 individual maps of potential wild pig densities across five continents (as shown) based on existing data on the numbers and distribution of the animals.
“Wild pigs are like tractors that plow through fields and plow the soil to find food,” says author and spatial ecologist Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Queensland.
“If the soil is disturbed by people plowing a field or, in this case, by wild animals uprooting, carbon is released into the atmosphere.”
“Because the soil contains almost three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, even a small fraction of the carbon emitted by the soil has the potential to accelerate climate change,” he explains.
According to Dr. O’Bryan, the world’s growing feral pig populations could pose a significant threat to the climate.
“Our models show a wide range of outcomes, but they indicate that wild boars are currently most likely uprooting an area of about 36,000 to 124,000 square kilometers [13900–47,877 square miles], in environments where they are not native.’
“This is a huge amount of land – and this not only impacts soil health and CO2 emissions, but also threatens biodiversity and food security that are crucial for sustainable development.”
The findings, the team said, highlight the impact that invasive species such as wild boar can have and the need for better controls to manage their populations. Pictured: wild boars
“Invasive species are a man-made problem, so we need to recognize their ecological and ecological implications and take responsibility,” says University of Canterbury author and environmental scientist Nicholas Patton.
‘If invasive pigs are allowed to expand into areas with a lot of carbon in the soil, there may be an even greater risk of greenhouse gas emissions in the future.’
“Because wild boars are prolific and cause widespread damage, they are both costly and difficult to manage.”
“Fighting feral pigs certainly requires collaboration and collaboration across multiple jurisdictions, and our work is just one piece of the puzzle, helping managers better understand their impact.”
“Clearly there is still work to be done, but in the meantime we must continue to protect and monitor ecosystems and their soils, which are susceptible to invasive species through carbon loss.”
The study’s full findings were published in the journal Global Change Biology.
THE PARIS AGREEMENT: A GLOBAL AGREEMENT TO LIMIT TEMPERATURE RISES THROUGH CARBON EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS
The Paris Agreement, first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and mitigate climate change.
It hopes to keep the rise in global average temperature below 2°C (3.6ºF) “and make efforts to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5°C (2.7°F)”.
It seems the more ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) may be more important than ever, according to previous research claiming 25 percent of the world will see a significant increase in drier climates. circumstances could see.
In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention that the US, the world’s second largest producer of greenhouse gases, would withdraw from the agreement.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals in terms of reducing emissions:
1) A long-term goal to keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
2) Strive to limit the increase to 1.5°C, as this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change
3) Governments agreed on the need to peak global emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that it will take longer for developing countries
4) To then make rapid reductions in accordance with the best available science