Slowly oxidizing peat releases as much carbon as burning in Southeast Asia

Peat oxidation in the west of insular Southeast Asia has resulted in the release of 2.5 gigatonnes of carbon since 1990, according to researchers in Singapore, the Netherlands and the UK.

The estimates, based on field emission studies carried out over two decades, also show that the latest year studied, 2015, saw levels of carbon emissions from peat amounting to two-thirds of that from the burning of fossil fuels, the production of cement, and gas flaring in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Although Jukka Miettinen of the National University of Singaporebelieves the estimates are “not surprising”, they should draw attention to the contribution of peatland oxidation to global greenhouse-gas emissions. […]

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