Challenges of climate change related to peatlands are tackled in various ways in Greifswald. Scientists study the ecological background of greenhouse gas emissions and quantify emissions. As direct measurements of gas fluxes require a lot of time and money, Greifswald scientist work to develop and refine proxies to estimate emissions from large peatland areas. Particularly vegetation proved a reliable and workable proxy for large areas, giving birth to the Greenhouse gas Emission Site Types (GESTs). The approach has fed into standards, MRV guidelines and methodologies under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and voluntary carbon markets (e.g. VCS). Moreover, the GMC manages the IMCG Global Peatland Database (GPD), the largest database on distribution, status and emissions of peatlands worldwide. Knowledge and capacity of Greifswald experts is brought to work in large scale international peatland projects. Their broad knowledge informs, trains, and advises the public and decision makers on peatlands and climate change
Some of our contributions:
- Commenting the Climate Action Plan 2050 (German only)
- "Peatlands and Climate in a Ramsar context"
- TEEB DE Klimabericht "Naturkapital und Klimapolitik"
- Participation in peatland relevant UNFCCC negotiations (WDR, REDD+) and analysis of peatlands in UNFCCC reporting (Barthelmes at al. 2009) and of their potential role in the global climate architecture (Joosten et al. 2016)
- Development of the IPCC 2013 Wetland Supplement and IPCC 2013 GPG
- Involvement in the post-2020 Informal Dialogue on the Land Sector
- Development of Standards, MRV-Guidelines and methodologies for carbon credits (VCS, MoorFutures)
- Development of proxies for the assessment of emissions from peatlands, e.g. GEST-Modell for western and central Europe (Couwenberg et al. 2011) and peat subsidence proxy for southeast Asia (Couwenberg & Hooijer 2013)
- IMCG Global Peatland Database (GPD) and global overview on peatland distribution, status and emissions (Global Peatland CO2 Picture, Joosten 2009)
- Detailed overview on peatland status and distribution (European Mires Book 2017)
- Comprehensive library (15.000 peatland related publications)
- Training courses on peatlands and climate
- Peatland research and implementation projects on all continents (except Antarctica)