By Joe Lo The burning Amazon rainforests , with their jaguars, monkeys and colorful birds, have grabbed global attention in a way the destruction of the world’s mossy peatlands never has. Yet protecting the world’s peatlands, which store at least twice as much carbon as forests , is critical in the fight against climate change . Peatlands, also known as bogs, are created when the remains of plants are submerged in waterlogged lands, turning them over time into peat with the plants’ carbon still stored inside. They cover around 3% of the world’s land and are found in 175 countries, mostly in northern Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. Scotland has a particularly high coverage, with bogs amounting to 20% of its land (roughly 1.7 million hectares) mainly in its lesser-populated north and western islands. Decades of Degradation However, the Scottish government estimates that roughly a third of the country’s total — roughly 600,000 hectares — have been degraded. Scotland’s peatlands, created mostly in areas left water-logged from the melting of Ice Age glaciers, lay untouched for thousands of years until farmers began to drain the land, building ditches so the water would run downhill into rivers. While such […]

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