Conclusions

This chapter has briefly looked at research into CH4 emissions from wetlands over recent decades. Although the estimates of the overall scale of emissions from wetlands have not changed much since the early 1970s, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the dynamics and controls on the emissions and the relative contributions from tropical versus northern wetlands. Ecosystem models are developing towards the stage where the feedback mechanism from changed CH4 emissions from wetlands in a warming climate may be fully integrated with climate change predictions. But significant challenges remain, in particular in our understanding of the seasonality of wetland emissions in the tropical region as driven by changes in hydrology and the climate sensitivity of northern wetland emissions, especially during the shoulder seasons and as affected by thawing permafrost.

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