Chapter 13, Key Finding 1

The assessment of terrestrial wetland carbon stocks has improved greatly since the First State of the Carbon Cycle Report (CCSP 2007) because of recent national inventories and the development of a U.S. soils database. Terrestrial wetlands in North America encompass an estimated 2.2 million km2, which constitutes about 37% of the global wetland area, with a soil and vegetation carbon pool of about 161 petagrams of carbon that represents approximately 36% of global wetland carbon stock. Forested wetlands compose 55% of the total terrestrial wetland area, with the vast majority occurring in Canada. Organic soil wetlands or peatlands contain 58% of the total terrestrial wetland area and 80% of the carbon (high confidence, likely).