Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Peatfires - 15% of Climate Change!

You may hardly have heard of peatfires. You may vaguely remember a big one in Indonesia - in 1997 - which spread smoke halfway across Asia.

So you might be surprised to learn that that period of burning produced 13-40% of all the greenhouse gases emitted that year.

And that's not all. According to  Guillermo Rein, a Reader in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, "Smouldering megafires are the largest and longest-burning fires on Earth. They ... are responsible for 15% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. This is the same amount attributed to the whole of the European Union, and yet it is not accounted for in carbon budgets."

And they form part of a positive feedback loop. Their greenhouse gas emissions drive up temperatures and that makes more fires more likely.

Another thing to worry about.