"Like so many of the planet's natural habitats, wetlands have been systematically destroyed over the past 300 years. Bogs, fens, marshes and swamps have disappeared from maps and memory, having been drained, dug up and built on.
Peatlands, a particular type of wetland, store at least twice the carbon of all the world's forests.
How much of the Earth's precious wetlands have been lost since 1700 was recently addressed by a major new study published in Nature. Previously, it was feared that as much as 50% of our wetlands might have been wiped out. However, the latest research suggests that the figure is actually closer to 21%—an area the size of India.
Some countries have seen much higher losses, with Ireland losing more than 90% of its wetlands. The main reason for these global losses has been the drainage of wetlands for growing crops."
Christian Dunn reports for The Conversation February 12, 2023.