When peat isn’t covered by water, it could be exposed to enough oxygen to fuel aerobic microbes living within, which allows them to grow extremely fast and release carbon dioxide into the air. Some peatlands are also a natural source of methane gas which is a more potent greenhouse gas but has a much shorter lifespan than carbon dioxide. However, generating methane actually requires the opposite conditions to generating carbon dioxide. Methane is more frequently released in water-saturated conditions, while carbon dioxide emissions are mostly in unsaturated conditions. This means that if our peatlands are getting drier, we would have an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide, but a reduction in methane emissions.
While peatlands cover just 3% of Earth’s total land surface, they store over one-third of the planet’s soil carbon. In Ireland, over 16% of the land is covered in peatlands, that's 134 million hectares. Bogs specifically makeup 5% of the Irish landscape and are home to many rare plants and animals. Last year, Bord na Móna began the phasing out of peat extraction from bogs and will continue on for the next few years among other restoration projects. The Irish government has given over €100 million in funding for peatland conservation projects.
Anti Logging Protesters Arrested In Canada:
Police in western Canada have arrested more than 270 people as a conflict over old-growth logging in British Columbia’s ancient rainforests continues to grow. At the protest blockades in the remote woodland, hundreds of activists have been chaining themselves to giant tripods made from the trunks of felled trees, suspending themselves in trees for days or more at a time. The movement is an attempt to pressure the British Columbia government to halt the cutting of what activists and experts say is the last 3% of ancient trees left standing in the province.