A study measured the impact of wild boars on climate change: the result was surprising

The climatic impact of wild boars is greater than that of 1 million cars, according to a study indicating that when the earth is dug, they release about 4.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually worldwide, the equivalent of 1.1 million cars. EFE / University of Queensland

The climate impact of wild boars worldwide is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 1.1 million cars per year, According to new research.

The model of an international team of researchers estimates that lWild boars emit 4.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year globally by pulling the Earth.

Researcher Dr Christopher O’Brien from the University of Queensland explained that wild boars were one of the most widespread invasive species of vertebrates on the planet.

“Wild pigs are native to Europe and parts of Asia, but they have moved to every continent except Antarctica,” he said.

When we think of climate change, we tend to think of the classic problem of fossil fuels. This is one of the additional threats to carbon, and possibly to climate change, that has not been explored in any global sense.” added.

Wild boars kill land while foraging, in a process O’Brien likens to “mini tractors that plow the land”. Doing so exposes soil microbes to oxygen. microbes They reproduce at a rapid rate and thus can produce carbon emissions [en forma de] Carbon Dioxide “.

“Any form of land use change can have an impact on soil carbon emissions,” O’Brien said. “The same thing happens when you put a tractor in a field or clear a piece of land for forests.”

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Researchers estimate that wild boars uproot an area of ​​more than 36,000 square kilometers (14,000 square miles) in areas where they do not belong.

Oceania had the largest area of ​​land disturbed by these animals, about 22,000 square kilometers, followed by North America Pigs in Oceania account for more than 60% of the animal’s estimated annual emissions, and emit nearly 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of about 643,000 cars.

Wild boars kill the Earth while searching for food, in a process O'Brien likens to
Wild boars kill the land as they search for food, in a process O’Brien likens to “little tractors plowing the land.”

The results of the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, were drawn from three models. One model predicted the global density of wild boars from 10,000 simulations, based on existing information on wild boar populations and locations.

The second model shifted the density of hogs in an area of ​​disturbed land, and a third model estimates the amount of carbon dioxide released when the soil is disturbed.

Nicholas Patton, a doctoral student at the University of Canterbury and one of the study’s authors, said there is some modeling uncertainty as a result of the varying carbon content of soils and the density of wild boar in different regions.

Areas that are swampy or black soil, especially those with high humidity, are a carbon sink.” Patton said. “When wild boars get in there and mine, they have a much greater potential to release that carbon. [que de otros suelos]”.

In addition to climatic influences, the destructive effect of wild boars has been well documented. O’Brien said managing the animals was a challenge that would involve prioritizing which of their effects is considered most important.

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“At the end of the day, wild boars are a human problem. We have spread it all over the world. This is yet another human-mediated climate effect,” is over.

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Freddie Dawson

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