#ICOScapes | Auchencorth Moss (UK) | Greenhouse gas observations

#ICOScapes | Auchencorth Moss (UK) | Greenhouse gas observations


There are not actually many peatland
sites in the world where CO2 fluxes are being measured. One reason why we are measuring carbon
fluxes here at this peatland is to see how the carbon exchange might develop
into the future with climate change. As the vegetation grows it takes up carbon from the atmosphere and stores that in the peat below. We are here at Auchencorth Moss the only ICOS Ecosystem station in the UK What we are finding here is that more important driver is how severe, how cold the previous winter was dictates how much carbon
is stored in the next growing season. The danger is that as the peatlands
for example get potentially drier or temperatures are getting warmer with
climate change that they might then burn off more carbon and release
some of the carbon back into the atmosphere. So that the peats which have been growing
over the years and been taking up carbon might become a source of carbon. Whether long-term trend would be maintained is uncertain because changing climate could also change the vegetation which might then
actually act differently. This used to be drained to some extent 200 years ago. In places in Scotland peat is still
being harvested as a fuel source so people still burn it in their stoves and open fireplaces. Although we are fairly close to Edinburgh about 20 kilometres away, it’s quite a remote field. significantly rougher than
in Edinburgh itself at the coast. There are days where we
just can’t get here at all because it’s just too windy to work out here. I guess Scotland is somewhat famous
for its harsh weather at times.

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