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: Climate rhetoric faces devil in the detail at Lima talks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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, ...

Agricultural fires blaze in Borneo

Sep 26, 2014

The skies over Indonesian Borneo were filled with the smoke from hundreds of fires set deliberately to clear farmland. A shroud of thick, gray smoke hung over the area when the Aqua satellite captured this ...

Recommended for you

Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

21 hours ago

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

Australia out of step with new climate momentum

Nov 28, 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China ...

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.