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Articles by Anca Leonora SOTROPA
Total Records ( 2 ) for Anca Leonora SOTROPA
  Anca Leonora SOTROPA
  While covering only 3% of the world’s land area, peat lands contain 550 Gt of carbon in their peat. This is equivalent to 30% of all soil carbon, 75% of all atmospheric carbon, as much carbon as all terrestrial biomass, and twice the carbon stock of all forest biomass of the world. The carbon content of global peat is equivalent to 30% of all global soil carbon, 75% of all atmospheric carbon, equal to all terrestrial biomass, and twice the carbon stock in the forest biomass of the world. This makes peat lands the top long-term carbon stock in the terrestrial biosphere. Currently 65 million ha of the global peat land resource is degraded, largely as a result of drainage. Peat oxidation from this area (about 0.5% of the Earth’s land surface) is responsible for annual CO2 emissions of over 3 Gt. The current CO2 emissions from degraded peat lands of 3 Gt in one year are equivalent to over 10% of the total global anthropogenic CO2- emissions in 1990 or 20% of the total net 2003 GHG emissions. In fact, peat lands are responsible for all three main greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Both the world's peat land carbon store and the current carbon dioxide emissions from degraded peat lands are so substantial that peat lands deserve a prominent position in global carbon policies.
  Anca Leonora SOTROPA , Ioan PACURAR , Mihai BUTA and Cristian IEDERAN
  Covering an estimated area of 400 million hectares in some 180 countries, equivalent to 3% of the Earth’s land surface, peat lands are not only valued for their ecological services (water quality and storage, biodiversity, carbon deposits) but, historically, have met human needs for food, energy, construction material, livestock bedding and in arts and health. Most of peat lands (c.350 million ha) are in the northern hemisphere, covering large areas in North America, Russia and Europe. Tropical peat lands occur in mainland East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Central America, South America and southern Africa where the current estimate of undisturbed peat land is 30-45 million ha or 10-12% of the global peat land resource. Globally, natural peat lands are destroyed at a rate of 4,000 km2 per year; the global peat volume decreases by 20 km3 per year. These losses largely occurred (and occur) in the temperate and tropical zones. Fifty per cent of natural peat land loss has been attributable to agriculture, 30% to forestry and 10% to peat extraction. About 14% of European peat lands are currently used for agriculture, the great majority being used as meadows and pastures. In countries such as Hungary (98%), Greece (90%), The Netherlands, (85%), Germany (85%) and Poland (70%), almost all organic soils are cultivated. In Finland, United Kingdom and Sweden only small areas of peat land are currently under agricultural use (2%; 4%; and 5% respectively), the great majority of this peat land being used as meadow and pasture. In Romania, there are just over 70 km2 of peat lands, representing 0.03% of the country surface, of which 2,000 hectares are situated in Mures and Olt sources. The proved amount of peat in place is reported by the Romanian WEC Member Committee to be 25 million tonnes, of which just over half is deemed to be economically recoverable.
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