Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tropical Peat Bogs Overlooked as a Major Source of Greenhouse Gases

Has burning fossil fuels been getting a bad rap for being the most important human source of greenhouse gas emissions? Certainly we have been led to believe that burning these fuels is the main culprit but in a report from Reuters Marcel Silvius from the nonprofit organization Wetlands International says that a Dutch research institute has found that the greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands in Southeast Asia are much greater than emissions from burning fossil fuels in the major polluting countries. The release of carbon dioxide from peat bogs occurs when these peatlands are either cleared or burnt. According to the article, if these peat bogs are taken into account, the country of Indonesia would jump up from 21st place to 3rd place right behind the U.S. and China as the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters and Malaysia would not be far behind.

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