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Latest Peat Stories

2009-11-30 15:52:08

Burning rainforests release huge amounts of greenhouse gases Peatlands, especially those in tropical regions, sequester gigantic amounts of organic carbon. Human activities are now having a considerable impact on these wetlands. For example, drainage projects, in combination with the effects of periodic droughts, can lead to large-scale fires, which release enormous amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, and thus contribute to global warming. Using laser-based measurements,...

2009-11-23 09:19:01

A new calculation of Europe's greenhouse gas balance shows that emissions of methane and nitrous oxide tip the balance and eliminate Europe's terrestrial sink of greenhouse-gases Of all global carbon dioxide emissions, less than half accumulate in the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. The remainder is hidden away in oceans and terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and peat-lands. Stimulating this "free service" of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is considered...

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2009-10-07 09:39:02

Ancient soil biota decreased in size by up to 46 percent during period 55 million years ago Ancient soil-inhabiting creatures decreased in body size by nearly half in response to a period of boosted carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures, scientists have discovered. The researchers' findings were published in the October 5, 2009, early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Jon Smith, a scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey, and...

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2009-09-08 09:00:21

Peat has been a major component of substrates used in container plant production since the 1960s. Highly porous with the capacity to hold water, peat makes an ideal rooting and growing medium for potted plants. But harvesting peat (and draining valuable peatlands in the process) releases the carbon stored in peat into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. And because peat plays an important role in wetland ecosystems"”peat bogs improve groundwater quality and are unique habitats for wild...

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2009-09-06 07:24:58

Peat, or semi-decayed vegetation matter, has been used by commercial growers and amateur gardeners since the middle of the 20th century. Peat is added to potting soil to help retain moisture and provide additional nutrients. As the demand for peat grew, acres of peat bogs were being drained and destroyed. Now, concerns about the environmental impact of extracting peat from wetlands are mounting. And as peat supplies are reduced, the cost naturally increases. Diminishing supplies and...

2009-08-13 14:44:25

Archaeologists say the oldest timber structure found yet in the London area was discovered during the excavation of a peat bog near Belmarsh Prison. Scientists from University College London's Institute of Archaeology said radiocarbon dating showed the timber platform, or trackway, to be nearly 6,000 years old, predating Stonehenge by more than 500 years. Archaeologists said the structure consisted of a timber platform found at a depth of about 14 feet near an ancient river channel. Officials...

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2009-08-13 10:15:00

London's oldest timber structure has been unearthed by archaeologists from Archaeology South-East (part of the Institute of Archaeology at UCL). It was found during the excavation of a prehistoric peat bog adjacent to Belmarsh Prison in Plumstead, Greenwich, in advance of the construction of a new prison building. Radiocarbon dating has shown the structure to be nearly 6,000 years old and it predates Stonehenge by more than 500 years. Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd acted as the managing...

2009-07-29 13:43:55

Global warming is speeding the release of carbon dioxide, a chief greenhouse gas, from underground peat in subarctic wetlands, Dutch research indicates. The research suggests rising temperatures are adding to the magnitude and velocity of global warming, Free University plant ecologist Ellen Dorrepaal and colleagues write in the journal Nature. Their research shows that raising temperatures about 1 degree Celsius accelerates total ecosystem respiration rates by as much as 60 percent, creating...

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2009-07-29 15:39:05

A new European study finds that climate change is accelerating the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from sub-Arctic peatlands, stimulating a fierce cycle of global warming. Northern peatlands contain one-third of the Earth's soil-bound organic carbon, the equivalent of half the CO2 in the entire atmosphere.  An increase of just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) over current average temperatures would more than double the amount of CO2 released from the peatlands, the study...

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2009-06-05 07:30:00

New study is among first to show benefits that carbon payments could have for populations of endangered large mammals in tropical forests A new report published yesterday provides compelling evidence that paying to conserve billions of tons of carbon stored in tropical forests could also protect orangutans, pygmy elephants, and other wildlife at risk of extinction. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Conservation Letters, is one of the first to offer quantitative evidence...


Word of the Day
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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