Peatland carbon-stocks paper

img fig c peat dec 20A new Carbon in Peat on EArth through Time (C-PEAT) working group paper reviews the main agents of change of peatland carbon stocks and fluxes.

The carbon balance of peatlands is predicted to shift from a sink to a source this century. However, peatland ecosystems are still omitted from the main Earth system models that are used for future climate change projections, and they are not considered in integrated assessment models that are used in impact and mitigation studies.

Led by working group leaders Julie Loisel and Angela Gallego-Sala, authors use evidence synthesized from the literature and an expert elicitation to define and quantify the leading drivers of change that have impacted peatland carbon stocks during the Holocene and predict their effect during this century and in the far future.

These drivers include those that induce rapid peatland carbon losses (peat fire, land-use change, and permafrost thaw) and gradual drivers that can lead to rapid, nonlinear responses in peatland ecosystems (temperature increase, water table drawdown, sea-level rise, and nutrient addition).

Authors also identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps in the scientific community and provide insight towards better integration of peatlands into modeling frameworks.

Access the Nature Climate Change paper "Expert assessment of future vulnerability of the global peatland carbon sink" here.

Find out more about the C-PEAT working group here.