Massive CO2 releases from se Asia peat swamps

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Drainage of tropical peat bogs is a vast uncharted source of greenhouse gases that may be doing more to stoke global warming than fossil fuels, a conservation group and a Dutch research institute said on Friday. "The figures are alarming... This issue has been overlooked," said Marcel Silvius, senior programme manager at Wetlands International, a non-profit group whose backers include 60 governments and 15 conservation groups. Silvius told Reuters that a study with Dutch water research institute Delft Hydraulics estimated that "annual peatland emissions from South-East Asia far exceed fossil fuel contributions from major polluting countries." Indonesia, which is now in 21st place in a world ranking of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, would move to third place behind the United States and China if peat were taken into account, it said. Wetlands International estimated that emissions from Indonesian peatlands alone, when drained or burnt, total 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year -- almost a tenth of world greenhouse gas emissions from human activities led by burning coal, oil and natural gas. Similar figures would apply to Malaysia, it said.

Tropical">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L03880917.htm]Tropical peat bogs stoke global warming-report

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