Peat fires will become more common in Canada

Categories: Big picture
Published on: August 1, 2020

CBC News / Sonya Buyting, Emily Rendell-Watson / 01 August 2020

As a result of climate change, peatlands are becoming hotter and drier, and thus more susceptible to the type of blazes we’re witnessing in Siberia.

“We now know that peatlands around the world, from the Arctic all the way to the tropics, are indeed vulnerable to wildfire,” said [ecosystem ecologist Merritt] Turetsky.

Calling peat-burning one of the most important environmental topics, Turetsky said “the Arctic literally has a fever and is literally on fire.”

Peat fires not only release CO2, but other, more potent greenhouse gases such as methane, as well as particulate matter, “which is the stuff that gets into our lungs, it can cause respiratory disease and asthma attacks,” said Turetsky.

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