Wildfire Below: Smoldering peat disgorges huge volumes of carbon | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


News

Wildfire Below: Smoldering peat disgorges huge volumes of carbon

By
8:48am, November 6, 2002

Once set alight by wildfires, deep beds of decaying tropical plant matter pump massive amounts of carbon into the sky. According to new research, emissions of globe-warming gases from smoldering peat eclipse those from burning surface vegetation and can rival carbon gases produced globally each year by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Disastrous wildfires swept through Borneo and several other Indonesian islands in 1997 and 1998. The flames burned surface vegetation and the peat that's abundant in the region's tropical forests. The fires coincided with a worldwide spike in atmospheric carbon concentrations, prompting scientists to in

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content