Peatlands disappearance of concern

Nov 10, 2006

A report released Friday at a U.N. conference in Kenya indicates clearing peat lands threatens the world's ability to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The report released at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, meeting until Nov. 17 in Nairobi, finds deforestation, frequent fires, draining for agriculture use and timber are among the reasons valuable peat lands are disappearing, and countries are doing little to limit the damage.

Marcel Silvius of Wetland International said peat fires produce heavy smoke and take long to extinguish, contributing to carbon dioxide emissions.

"No more peat land should be cleared and projects to reclaim the lost lands should be started in the already lost areas," Silvius said.

Peat lands are made up of densely packed, partly decayed plant matter thousands of years old and while they occupy a mere 3-5 percent of the Earth's surface, can absorb 25-30 percent of the world's carbon dioxide.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Drought damage leads to widespread forest death

Related Stories

Mapping the Great Lakes' wetlands

Mar 09, 2015

Fluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region's coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale—and the only on ...

Peat fire emissions may shed light on climate change

Jan 16, 2015

Wildfires, which send hot flames and smoke high into the air, create black carbon emissions associated with climate change and risk to human health. Carbon emissions from wildfires in the contiguous U.S. ...

Warming leads to more run-ins with polar bears

Dec 19, 2014

Word spread quickly: a polar bear, then two, were spotted near this remote Inuit village on the shores of Hudson Bay, about 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) north of Montreal.

Alaska shows no signs of rising Arctic methane

Nov 17, 2014

Despite large temperature increases in Alaska in recent decades, a new analysis of NASA airborne data finds that methane is not being released from Alaskan soils into the atmosphere at unusually high rates, ...

Recommended for you

Drought damage leads to widespread forest death

20 hours ago

The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region. A Carnegie-led team of scientists developed a new modeling tool to explain how and where trembling ...

Good luck and the Chinese reverse global forest loss

20 hours ago

Analysis of 20 years of satellite data has revealed the total amount of vegetation globally has increased by almost 4 billion tonnes of carbon since 2003. This is despite ongoing large-scale deforestation ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.