Climate change drives up greenhouse-gas emissions from UK peatlands

Tue, 2007-09-04 10:36Bill Miller
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Climate change drives up greenhouse-gas emissions from UK peatlands

UK’s already depleted peatlands are suffering ever-increasing erosion and climate change, raising the likelihood vast quantities of carbon will be released into the atmosphere, scientists warned in a study presented to the Royal Geographical Society.

With proper conservation, the authors said, the peat bogs could actually help reduce CO2 emissions.

“Peatlands are areas where there is a high water table, and because of this you get low oxygen conditions within the saturated area that prevents organic materials from breaking down,” the paper's lead author said.

“If you take the current rate of carbon loss as a result of badly eroded areas and apply this across the whole of the UK's peatlands then you lose about 1.5 million tonnes of carbon each year - that's the worst-case scenario.”

Previous Comments

If peat stores carbon, does using peat as heating fuel contribute to CO2 levels in the atmosphere? And what about the production of Scotch whisky? I am ready to do my bit to combat global warming: drive less, convert to solar, even go vegetarian. But giving up my Laphroaig might be asking too much!

I know Bill has some very nice Islay's around the house. I wondering is he's willing to give them up??

It’s a tough one! Maybe I had better lay down a case or two of the good stuff against future shortages. I’ll let you know if I find a deal on Ardbeg in bulk.

I’m sure the distilling of fine Scotch will come under the category of conservation. Especially the Islay malts. Just think of the wind power sweeping over the peatlands!

Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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