Peatlands and wetlands store around one third of the world’s terrestrial carbon.
Credit: Garth Lenz
While the subject of peat may not conjure up the most passionate of responses from your average Joe, its global significance in the role of climate stability is undeniable.
Peatlands, traditionally wet accumulations of partially decayed vegetation which can someplaces be over ten feet thick, store exorbitant ammounts of carbon. Though only making up around 2% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, they store as much as 33% of the Earth’s terrestrial carbon, meaning they play a crucial role in the balance of carbon between our Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
Nigel Roulet, a Professor at McGill University’s Department of Geography and member of the International Boreal Conservation Science Panel, is an expert on peat and wetlands and is teaming up with other scientists to research this interesting role that peatlands play in the global climate equation. He recently gave a tour of a peat research site to the Ottawa Citizen to show how they are conducting research and how this research might help us understand peatlands across Canada, and even the world.
Here’s a short video by the Ottawa Citizen from the tour: