Protect and Expand Existing Carbon Stores
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The Scottish land mass sequesters huge quantities of carbon. However, These carbon stores are very vulnerable to processes such as drainage. The drained soils are much better aerated and this allows the carbon locked away in organic materials to be oxidised fully to carbon dioxide. Peat soils in Scotland have been estimated to store the equivalent to 509 mtonnes of carbon dioxide. Other soils are estimated to sequester the equivalent to 1550 mtonnes of carbon dioxide It is essential to ensure that these gasses remain securely sequestered by protecting the peatlands and moors from drainage and fires. Similarly, remaining wet pasture land should be retained and, where possible low lying land should be re-wetted.
Recent estimates of carbon locked in sea bed sediments around Scotland suggest that their carbon storage capacity is far greater than the terrestrial systems (estimated to be equivalent to 5,555 mtonnes of carbon dioxide). These stores are poorly understood and research urgently is required to understand the processes by which the carbon is stored and what threats (e.g. disturbance or climate change) may result in carbon being released again from these sediments.
Why the contribution is important
If Scotland is to achieve something approaching a net zero carbon emission state, all possible carbon store must be protected and if possible enhanced.
by MarkColyer on October 25, 2020 at 09:02PM