Carbon capture and sequestration in peat in response to positive and negative feedbacks

One of the general findings from the latest Assessment Report of the United Nations IPCC is that warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is unequivocal. There is also no doubt that this will impact on northern peatlands which store about 550 Gt of carbon equivalent to approximately one third of global C stocks and 75% of the total pre-industrial amount of C stored in the atmosphere. The question addressed in this study is whether the capture and sequestration of carbon in peat environments is viable. We will investigate organic supplements that can release phenolic compounds, such as woody biomass, and test whether these can suppress greenhouse gas (GHG) release. Preliminary calculations estimate that there is a potential decrease in global warming potential (as carbon equivalents) of ca. 0.5 Gt p.a. being attainable if all Sphagnum moss peatlands (ca. 4M km2) are treated this way resulting in an increase in carbon sequestration rate.