Satellite data can reveal fire susceptibility in peatlands

When large areas of carbon-rich soil catch fire, the blaze emits massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and creates a thick haze. These blazes can usher in long-term climate impacts that affect the whole planet and ...

Peatlands trap carbon dioxide, even during droughts

Although peatlands make up only 3 percent of the Earth's surface, they store one third of the soil carbon trapped in soils globally. Preserving peatlands is therefore of paramount importance for mitigating climate change, ...

Satellites reveal peatland fire susceptibility

When large areas of carbon-rich soil catch fire, the blaze emits massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and creates a thick haze some residents of Southeast Asia know all too well. In 2015, the haze from peatland fires ...

What it takes to put out forest fires

In Brazil, the world's largest tropical rainforest is burning. Indonesia is home to the third-largest tropical forest and this too is burning in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Three benefits of Indonesia's permanent ban on forest clearance

Five years ago, Indonesia was considered one of the world's worst forest destroyers. But a permanent moratorium on new clearance of primary forest and peatland, recently announced by Presiden Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration, ...

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Peat

Peat (turf) is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world. By volume, there are about 4 trillion m³ of peat in the world covering a total of around 2% of global land area (about 3 million km²), containing about 8 billion terajoules of energy.

Losing 5% of the 2.7m hectares of peatland in Britain, would equal UK's annual carbon emissions and risk its climate targets (IUCN). The UK is amongst the top ten nations of the world in the peatland area and has 9-15% of Europe’s peatland area.

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