Australia's subtropical peat bogs need fire to survive

When I lived in Kalimantan in Indonesia in the 1990s and later in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, I would often wake to toxic, smoke-filled skies. The air would be filled with the distinctive smell of burning peat, as farmers cleared ...

'Carbon vault' peat suffers greatly from drought, finds study

Peatlands are affected more by drought than expected. This is concerning, as these ecosystems are an important ally in the fight against climate change. Following long periods of drought, peat is able to absorb little to ...

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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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