A scientific study revealed that peat areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are a “huge carbon time bomb” that may result from the climate crisis, because peat does not store carbon, but rather releases it to the atmosphere.
According to RT, scientists are concerned that global warming, caused by human activity, could overturn the fragile system again and accelerate the development of the climate crisis.
It should be noted that peatlands cover 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 fossil fuel emissions in three years in the world. It is threatened with destruction due to logging and oil and gas extraction.
Professor Simon Lewis from the University of Leeds, UK, said: “We know that peatlands are very close to the tipping point, when they can emit billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.”
“This is an important message for the 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 scientific team, says: “Peatlands are more vulnerable than we thought, and everyone has a role to play in protecting them. Polluting countries must quickly reduce carbon emissions.”
“It is more important than ever for rich polluters to invest in protecting peatlands, biodiversity and local people,” says Arlette Soudan Nono, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Congo. “If we want to prevent this huge carbon stock from turning into a time bomb, it must be understood Our partners believe that this valuable service to the planetary ecosystem cannot remain free forever.”