From forests to peatlands: once lost, ecosystem carbon stores might not be recoverable in time

 
01/04/2020 - Huge amounts of carbon are stored in ecosystems like peatlands, mangroves, old-growth forests and marshes, which play a crucial role for our Earth system. Once released due to land use changes like the conversion to agriculture, this carbon could be not be recoverable within time to avoid global warming beyond 1,5 degrees Celsius, a new study led by Conservation International shows. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, is one of the authors. These land areas should be particularly protected, the researchers argue in the journal Nature Climate Change.
From forests to peatlands: once lost, ecosystem carbon stores might not be recoverable in time
In ecosystems like mangroves, vast amounts of carbon are stored. Photo: iStock

"We have growing evidence that the final battle ground whether we fail or succeed in delivering the Paris Climate Agreement of holding the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming line is not only whether we are able to get out of fossil fuels, it is also whether we are able to safeguard carbon stores in nature", Rockström says, who is chief scientists of Conservation International. "Here, we provide the first global assessment of the ecosystems that hold our future in their hands".

Article: Allie Goldstein, Will R. Turner, Seth A. Spawn, Kristina J. Anderson Teixeira, Susan Cook-Patton, Joseph Fargione, Holly K. Gibbs, Bronson Griscom, Jennifer H. Hewson, Jennifer F. Howard, Juan Carlos Ledezma, Susan Page, Lian Pin Kohl, Johan Rockström, Jonathan Sanderman, David G. Hole (2020): Protecting irrecoverable carbon in Earth's ecosystems. Nature Climate Change. DOI 10.1038/s41558-020-0738-8

Weblink to the article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0738-8