Opening "Carbon time bomb" naturally on earth

A scientific study has found that peatlands in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are a “huge carbon time bomb” that could result from the climate crisis. Since peat does not store carbon, it releases it into the atmosphere.

Scientists are concerned that human-induced global warming could turn the fragile system upside down again and accelerate the development of the climate crisis.

It should be noted that peatlands occupy large areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, with a total area of ​​17 million hectares. This peat stores a huge amount of carbon equivalent to three years of fossil fuel emissions in the world. It is threatened with destruction due to the cutting down of trees and the extraction of oil and gas.

Professor Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds, UK, said: “We know that peatlands are very close to a tipping point where they could release billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.”

“This is an important message for world leaders gathered at the COP27 climate talks,” he adds.

Professor Cornel Ivango of the University of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who led the research team, says: “Peatlands are more vulnerable than we thought, and everyone has a role to play in protecting them. Polluting countries must cut their carbon emissions quickly. emissions.”

“For wealthy polluters, it is more important than ever to invest in protecting peatlands, biodiversity and local people,” says Arlette Sudan Nono, Minister of the Environment of the Republic of the Congo. “If we want to prevent this huge carbon stock from becoming a time bomb, we need to understand that our partners believe that this valuable service to the planetary ecosystem cannot remain free forever.”