Peatland preservation vital to climate

Preserving the world's peatlands—and the vast carbon stores they contain—is vital to limiting climate change, researchers say.

Peatland carbon and nitrogen stocks vulnerable to permafrost thaw

Northern peatlands hold large stocks of carbon and nitrogen and thus play a key role in global climate dynamics. However, their vulnerability to climate warming is uncertain, due in part to a lack of spatially explicit, observation-based ...

Study finds warming peat may boost greenhouse gases

Warming temperatures in cold-climate peatlands may over time trigger decomposition of old, deeply buried peat and increase emissions of climate-harming methane and carbon dioxide into the air, according to a study led by ...

Peatland drainage in Southeast Asia adds to climate change

In less than three decades, most of Southeast Asia's peatlands have been wholly or partially deforested, drained, and dried out. This has released carbon that accumulated over thousands of years from dead plant matter, and ...

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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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