Latest publication: Carbon rich peat soils

The Danish Council on Climate Change published an English summary of their latest report entitled ‘Carbon rich peat soils’.

The open land in Denmark is dominated by agricultural production. More than half – roughly 60 percent of the landscape – is cultivated, which leads to annual greenhouse gas emissions of around 9 million tons CO2- equivalents (hereafter CO2e). But there are large differences across Danish agricultural soils and their effect on the climate.

The majority consists of mineral soils with low carbon contents, which do not emit very much CO2 when cultivated. Just under 7 percent of the cultivated area consists of carbon rich peat soils. Peat soils are originally formed in wetlands like bogs and wet meadows and have a high content of carbon from old plant residues. When peat soils are oxygenated by drainage and plowing, the carbon rots and emits gases, primarily as CO2. In principle, this corresponds to the burning of fossil fuels although it happens more slowly. Hence, draining of peat soils contributes to increasing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases thereby intensifying global warming.

In this context the Council published a report that includes proposals for a new model for effective regulation and rewetting of Danish carbon rich peat soils. Read More