Asian peat fires add to warming
The destruction of tropical peatlands is contributing significantly to
global warming, according to a study. Peatlands in South-East Asia are
being burnt in fires started with the intention to clear forest, but in
dry periods they can rage out of control.
This can free vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, Dr
Susan Page of Leicester University, UK, said. The peatlands, which
contain up to 21% of global land-based stores of carbon, could be
destroyed by 2040, she added.
It has been calculated that in 1997, 2.67 billion tonnes of the
greenhouse gas carbon dioxide were released through burning of these
peatlands. This is equivalent to 40% of one year's global fossil fuel
combustion, Dr Page says. That year was unusually high, however; the
intermediate estimate is one billion tonnes, about 15% of fossil fuel
combustion for a year.
Source: Paul Rincon/ BBC News
Clean Energy NEWS
Vol. 5, Number 39, 06 September 2005