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The amount of carbon released from peat and forest fires in Indonesia during 1997.
Nature 2002; 420(6911):61-5Nat

Abstract

Tropical peatlands are one of the largest near-surface reserves of terrestrial organic carbon, and hence their stability has important implications for climate change. In their natural state, lowland tropical peatlands support a luxuriant growth of peat swamp forest overlying peat deposits up to 20 metres thick. Persistent environmental change-in particular, drainage and forest clearing-threatens their stability, and makes them susceptible to fire. This was demonstrated by the occurrence of widespread fires throughout the forested peatlands of Indonesia during the 1997 El Niño event. Here, using satellite images of a 2.5 million hectare study area in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, from before and after the 1997 fires, we calculate that 32% (0.79 Mha) of the area had burned, of which peatland accounted for 91.5% (0.73 Mha). Using ground measurements of the burn depth of peat, we estimate that 0.19-0.23 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon were released to the atmosphere through peat combustion, with a further 0.05 Gt released from burning of the overlying vegetation. Extrapolating these estimates to Indonesia as a whole, we estimate that between 0.81 and 2.57 Gt of carbon were released to the atmosphere in 1997 as a result of burning peat and vegetation in Indonesia. This is equivalent to 13-40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and contributed greatly to the largest annual increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration detected since records began in 1957 (ref. 1).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK. sep5@le.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12422213

Citation

Page, Susan E., et al. "The Amount of Carbon Released From Peat and Forest Fires in Indonesia During 1997." Nature, vol. 420, no. 6911, 2002, pp. 61-5.
Page SE, Siegert F, Rieley JO, et al. The amount of carbon released from peat and forest fires in Indonesia during 1997. Nature. 2002;420(6911):61-5.
Page, S. E., Siegert, F., Rieley, J. O., Boehm, H. D., Jaya, A., & Limin, S. (2002). The amount of carbon released from peat and forest fires in Indonesia during 1997. Nature, 420(6911), pp. 61-5.
Page SE, et al. The Amount of Carbon Released From Peat and Forest Fires in Indonesia During 1997. Nature. 2002 Nov 7;420(6911):61-5. PubMed PMID: 12422213.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The amount of carbon released from peat and forest fires in Indonesia during 1997. AU - Page,Susan E, AU - Siegert,Florian, AU - Rieley,John O, AU - Boehm,Hans-Dieter V, AU - Jaya,Adi, AU - Limin,Suwido, PY - 2002/03/20/received PY - 2002/09/17/accepted PY - 2002/11/8/pubmed PY - 2002/12/10/medline PY - 2002/11/8/entrez SP - 61 EP - 5 JF - Nature JO - Nature VL - 420 IS - 6911 N2 - Tropical peatlands are one of the largest near-surface reserves of terrestrial organic carbon, and hence their stability has important implications for climate change. In their natural state, lowland tropical peatlands support a luxuriant growth of peat swamp forest overlying peat deposits up to 20 metres thick. Persistent environmental change-in particular, drainage and forest clearing-threatens their stability, and makes them susceptible to fire. This was demonstrated by the occurrence of widespread fires throughout the forested peatlands of Indonesia during the 1997 El Niño event. Here, using satellite images of a 2.5 million hectare study area in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, from before and after the 1997 fires, we calculate that 32% (0.79 Mha) of the area had burned, of which peatland accounted for 91.5% (0.73 Mha). Using ground measurements of the burn depth of peat, we estimate that 0.19-0.23 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon were released to the atmosphere through peat combustion, with a further 0.05 Gt released from burning of the overlying vegetation. Extrapolating these estimates to Indonesia as a whole, we estimate that between 0.81 and 2.57 Gt of carbon were released to the atmosphere in 1997 as a result of burning peat and vegetation in Indonesia. This is equivalent to 13-40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and contributed greatly to the largest annual increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration detected since records began in 1957 (ref. 1). SN - 0028-0836 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12422213/The_amount_of_carbon_released_from_peat_and_forest_fires_in_Indonesia_during_1997_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01131 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -