The European Commission has proposed to impose an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 but who knows if Ursula von der Leyen has thought about how to stem the problem of wild boars, capable of producing the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions globally as 1.1 million cars. An equally considerable source of carbon dioxide emissions, therefore, according to the research carried out by scientists from the University of Queensland and the University of Canterbury and published in the journal Global Change Biology.
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In the study “Unrecognized threat to global soil carbon by a widespread invasive species”, a team of researchers from New Zealand, Australia and the United States found that wild boars may be able to release every year around the world. about 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, the same amount produced by 1.1 million cars. The study is based on the development of predictive models of the population and advanced mappings that have served to analyze the potential climatic damage directly related to the presence of wild boars and pigs. Specifically, the potential damage that this species can have on an ecosystem and the consequent carbon emissions was analyzed. This latter element is determined by the tendency of these animals to move the earth in search of food, an action that in carbon-rich areas can accelerate climate change.
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“Continued population expansion of these animals could pose a threat to the climate. Wild pigs can be compared to tractors that plow the fields, turning the land in search of food “- explained Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Canterbury, leading the research team – When soils are disturbed by humans plowing a field or, in this case, by the rooting of wild animals, carbon is released into the atmosphere. Since soil contains nearly three times more carbon than in the atmosphere, even a small fraction of soil emitted carbon has the potential to accelerate climate change. Our models show a wide range of results, but indicate that wild boars are likely plowing an area of around 36,000 – 124,000 square kilometers, in environments where they are not indigenous. This is a huge amount of land and this not only affects soil health and carbon emissions, but also threatens biodiversity and food security which are fundamental for sustainable development. “