14 January 2015
BOGOR, Indonesia—Scientists monitoring the amount of carbon accumulated in Indonesia’s peatland forests over thousands of years have predicted that millions of tons of carbon dioxide could be released into the atmosphere if they continue to be cleared, drained and burned for oil palm and agricultural plantations.
“Indonesia’s peat swaps have evolved over thousands of years to create the perfect storage systems to lock away carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change,” said Sofyan Kurnianto, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the lead author of a new study.
“But it is only now that we are beginning to understand the magnitude of emissions released when peatlands are cleared and burned for agriculture or oil palm.”
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