Much of Scotland’s peatland is in danger of disappearing because of global warming, scientists have said. It means that more than half of the carbon stored in the country’s moor and bogs could be released in the next 30 years. Warmer and drier summers would have the biggest effect on peatlands, with possible droughts causing soil erosion, loss of peat and shrinking of bogs. They would also become more vulnerable to fire. Milder and wetter winters would mean a change in stream and river size, and may affect how quickly the peat is laid down. The Met Office predicts that summer temperatures in parts of Scotland will increase by 3.5C by 2050 if carbon emissions rise sharply. Peatlands cover 1.8 million hectares, or a quarter of Scotland, and store more than 2,500 million tonnes of carbon. If blanket bogs disappeared in the far north, as the scientists fear, almost seven times Scotland’s total yearly greenhouse gases would be released. Much of the nation’s drinking water comes from peatland areas and peat is used to flavour whisky. Almost 90 per cent of peatlands are blanket bog. Reaching depths of up to 8m, they protect against erosion and are an important wildlife habitat.
Times 3rd Oct 2019 read more »
A sample group of 150 French citizens – from unemployed people to pensioners and factory workers – will this week begin advising the French president Emmanuel Macron on how France can cut carbon emissions to tackle the climate emergency. The panel was chosen by selecting people, aged from 16 to over 65, from towns and villages across France. More than 25,000 automatically generated calls were made to mobile numbers and landlines to find a representative “sample of national life”. Coming from various backgrounds and professions, the citizens are not experts on environmental issues but are expected to have views on the difficulties of combating the climate change and to offer ideas. They will be asked to consider the role of individuals, and society as a whole – covering housing, work, transport, food, shopping and methods of production – and suggest solutions for cutting emissions, which will be put before parliament. Julien Blanchet, who is overseeing the process, said the citizens would represent “the diversity of the French population”.
Guardian 2nd Oct 2019 read more »