From 2050, carbon sinks ‘could see reduced capacity under warmer climate conditions’

According to new research, northern peatlands able to store ‘five times more carbon dioxide than forests’ are at risk

The Big Zero report

Northern peatlands could lose their capacity as carbon sinks by 2050, if the climate warms ‘significantly’.

This is according to a new Nordic study that warns soil mineralisation, permafrost thawing and changing landscapes will alter the carbon-absorbing capacity of peatlands.

Peatlands cover 3% of the Earth’s surface but are capable of storing five times more carbon dioxide than forests and play an important role in climate regulation.

The model used in the study reveals that under contrasting warming scenarios, peatlands are expected to remain carbon sinks only until the end of this century.

The study is a combined effort by the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Oslo, the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, the University of Copenhagen and Lund University.

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