« 99% Invisible

417- For the Love of Peat

2020-10-13 | 🔗

When we think about carbon storage, we tend to think about forests, but peatlands are also incredible carbon sinks. In Europe, peatlands contain five times more carbon than forests. But back in the 80s, most people didn't know this remarkable fact about peat. If anything, bogs were seen as scary places to be avoided and thus we tended to not take care of them. But that’s changing.

For the Love of Peat

Buy The 99% Invisible City!

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I am not a natural runner, but I want a lot I usually where, whenever I learn round but recently tracks, myth is injured. My life and I have since been running in style tracks. Myth is a Boston based running brand dedicated to making life better for everyday athletes. Their stylish close, just plain work, I'm talking about tights that are soft and breathable. In short, there is room for your keys in your phone. I also love their busily jacket that works well for running, but has a slim Taylor,
cut soil. So where does a normal jacket when I just need to throw something on tracks? Myths, entire one commute line- is designed for money. But if you want to work or wanted to someone, you know you don't look like a big old Mass Duomo is news to the bank ass their offering our listeners. Fifteen percent of your first Burgess to learn more visit track Smith, dot com, slash invisible in a drawer code, invisible ninety nine percent of visible is brought you by progressive one of the countries leading providers of Otto Insurance with progressive name, your price tool. You can say what kind of coverage are looking for and how much you want to pay and progressive will help you find options that fit within your budget, use the name, your price tool and start an online quote today: a progressive dot com,
Press coverage match limited by state law. Our first book is out now the ninety nine percent, invisible city, a field guide to the hidden world of everyday design can an excellent the New York Times. Thank you and seems we selling well in bookstores all around the world, thanks for posting all the pictures of spy clean it out in the wild. Your excitement has so rewarding. After all, the hard work get a print cut. You have your own or you can always get the audio book or both, going to ninety nine b. I dot org, Slash book. This is ninety nine percent, invisible I'm roman Mars! as we wrote this script, wildfires forward through Northern California Bernie. millions of acres and filling our beautiful city with smoke.
same time across the country. A massive tropical storm bore down on the Gulf Coast in Phoenix Arizona recorded its fiftieth day of the year above one hundred and ten degrees. We know that these stories are connected to a bigger story and honestly trying to keep. top of all the bad climate. News can be unbearably depressing their headlines that making wanted just not click and so when it seems like there's a piece of genuinely good environmental noise. I all is smashed that link desperately and Gerald solar power prices at an all time. Low endangered tigers come back x on mobile, doing so poorly gets taken off the DOW Jones and one in the summer of twenty nineteen right after the warmest tune in the history of chickens. I got a surprise dopamine hit when I saw this headline free.
Nineteen has mind blowing potential to tackle climate crisis back, to be perfectly clear, most mine. Blowing thing we could do to tackle the climate crisis is to stop burying fossil fuels, but there are also is that we can soak up some of the Co2 too, that we ve already put in the atmosphere worth development, to do this, but trees and other plants actually do it. Naturally they taken- from the atmosphere and store it in their leaves and branches and trunks And so some scientists in Switzerland try to calculate how much carbon could be removed if we planted as many trees as possible all around the world, they published a paper Colonel Nature, arguing Humans planted a trillion trees, a remove one. Third, all this year too. We had put up there in the first place. It was a dream.
Finding that led to a lot of dramatic headlines and the way the paper was being described, you would think the trees were some kind of climate change panacea that they were the key to fixing global warming and the month that followed. It felt like the tree. Planting theory was being aggressively put into practice plant a trade via the effects of fossil fuels, waste that an appeal here where I hate campaign has been launched. more than four billion trees. This summer volunteers in India planted more than sixty six million trees in just twelve hours in a record. Breaking there's even a tree. Planting anthem Eventually, the tree planting Gospel found the unlikely of champions present.
Donald Trump expressed his love of tree planting at the World Economic Forum and then tromp the man who pulled the? U S out of the Paris Climate Treaty, signed onto something called the trillion trees initiative on Earth Day. President Trump gathered the press on the White House and to watch and plant treatise As a sign of our delegation in a few moments, the first he and I were plant a maple tree right here on the south loaded, the White ass it wherever the trees, whereas the straight now that's a beautiful straight trunk, AAA tree the triple a tree was already in the ground, but the president, the first lady numbers of cabinet, picked up their golden shovels and through some dirt in the whole day. Now don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against trees. I backed I'd love trees, just as much as the next outdoors guy from Vermont
I have also been reporting on climate change long enough to know that there are no silver bullets and the way people were talking about tree planting felt a little simplistic was like here's. This enormously complicated issue, climate change, embers gonna, boil down to a slogan plants. Is TAT the earth. Well, whenever I hear that phrase all that that this caused my stressed level close up enormously, this is Richard Linsey, a scientist at the University of EAST London Sustainability, Research Institute, everybody's saying: let's plan two million trees, let's plant a billion trees. Yes, I am all in favour of that. But let's plant the right tree in the right place and richer has personal experience watching a lot of trees get planted in the wrong place back in the nineteen eighties, he saw first hand, the impacts of accounts
virtual tree planting scheme in Scotland that ended up threatening one of the most special ecosystems in the world, the trees warrant being planted to fight climate change. I want to be really clear about that. Very few people were talking about I'm a changed back then, but the story of what happened in Scotland should still serve as a cautionary tale for our tree planting efforts today, because forests are the only ecosystems that store carbon, and so when we do plant trees way to be really careful about. Where were planting them and what happens after They go on the ground the british Isles used to be covered in forests but after centuries of converting forest land to agriculture. The iconic British would when the worst largely a thing of the past, Twentyth century. Great Britain was importing word because it didn't happen The town and so in the nineteen eightys, the garden
started, using tax breaks to encourage private citizens to fund tree planting efforts around the country. The goal was to boost The UK is timber supply and it was a really good tax break, especially for this a rich. So we had people like whilst the band genesis their accounts. Got them involved. Inez, yes, number of sort of high profile names who all invested in this, having been convinced that it was a good thing, because, of course, planting trees is a good thing. Is it not, but question started to emerge about where exactly these trees we're gonna go in order for this to work, investors needed large tracts of undeveloped. Man wanted land, and there is one place that met criteria perfectly and was called the flow country. The flow country is a vast, open area. In far north of Scotland, that looks almost like this,
dick Tundra. The term tundra comes from the Finnish would some tree, which means beyond the tree line, and so that really tells you something about the rural landscape, its essentially treeless. The flow country is what called a blanket bog that the largest blanket bog and all of Europe the best way to appreciate the landscape might be in an airplane from the sky. It looks at the persian rug streaked, with colorful sphagnum losses. dotted with little pool of water, but it is harder to appreciate when you're on the ground to majority. Yes, the landscape will be this wet bogey soft, really quite colorful, carpet of Bob
So as you walk across it, it's a bit like work here crosses sprung. Mattress except you need rubber boots. Soggy soggy mattress Somebody is a very good word tracked, yes, There is a saying in Scotland that summer is the best day of the year, it's cold in damp. An enormous amount of rainfall, but otherwise it's perfect It truly is one of my favorite places on earth and beautiful. Scotland's terrible weather actually creates the perfect conditions for an incredible substance to form it's called PETE and it's what the flow country is made of the land is so saturated, there's very little oxygen and it's really hard for plant matter to break down and so over thousands and thousands of years, this partially decomposed material or peat has been slow
Lee accumulating in some parts of the flow country. The peat is now more than thirty feet. Deep and the amazing thing about PETE from climate first is that its doors, a ton of carbon? I fell in love with peat lands because they are these beautiful ecosystems, but they also are global power houses for carbon storage. This is merit to risky or the queen of Peat, as she's known on Twitter she's, the director of the instrument of arctic and alpine researcher. You see bolder, and she says that peat lands are like these dense underground pockets of carbon, so the amount of carbon starred in peat lands on a mere square basis,
is often ten times fifteen times higher than that same area of land in a forest or in an agricultural setting. These are true hot spots when it comes to protecting carbon in soils and keeping that carbon out of the atmosphere, peat lands around the world actually contain more carbon than all the worlds of vegetation combined, but back in eighties, multiple didn't know about incredible power of peat, if anything bogs were seen as unpleasant scary places to be avoided in part because they were filled with dead people ancient bog. is that have been tabled for centuries and the anaerobic mock. Some of these bodies appear to be ritual sacrifices from the book. bonds and iron ages. Once those bodies were tossed into the bog, they became very efficiently preserved because of those same conditions that protect PETE from composition. The bog bodies didn't decompose,
and occasionally these early well preserved corpses would surface from the Box of Northern Europe. Needless to say, in Scotland, the spooky soggy PETE Lend wasn't exactly a popular The whole country was known locally by an acronym, mama, famously cold man by country? Might miles if by girl, and so in writing eighties. When the forest industry started looking for large tracts of undeveloped land to plant trees, the flow country was an your choice. Sweden is a wasteland, sends a local people had been convinced by the forest industry that this was bring a new economy to the area so of People were really excited, whatever next was kind of a race. When the forestry groups who started drain, bugs in planting trees in conservation groups who began
trying to catalogue all the biodiversity in this fragile landscape before it was completely covered up. That's where I was really sucked into the whole flow country story, because essentially, I was Taos twist running a survey programme to establish whether of flow country contained any thing of importance, anything that we should be concerned about losing Richard assembled, a team of scientists. They packed tents and camping gear cameras and food and the train from London over four hundred miles north to the tip top of Scotland and right Richard was taken with the place was extraordinary a small in the silence, but pretty quickly be got acquainted with the sounds and smells at the place too. weeks. He and his team would tramp around. On top of the soggy mattress documenting all the wildlife in the bog carnivorous plants, dragon flies water beetle,
looms and golden plovers. It was tough going, but apart from the Wet Socks Richard members. These long walks fondly because you sort of pounds chant long, squish, squish foot this lovely sense, we has is very so the flowering plants wafted up around you and in the end, Richard and team determined that the focus it wasn't a wasteland at all, but a thriving wetland habitat that had been under appreciated for centuries Essentially, we we found they range of ecosystem types, was like nothing well really has been described anywhere else in the world, because all this was happening the tree, planting was already under way and
but at the same time Richard was discovering the secrets of this delicate landscape, the forgery companies preparing it up. They ploughed up the bog strained out all that water and planted non native, quick, growing conifers. Pretty soon little patches of evergreen forest were sprouting up all across the flow country, although Richards as forest is really the right word that contains plantations establish with agricultural densities in mind, rose and rows of sickness, spruce and lodge poor pine pack tightly together in these dense plantations were terrible places for native wildlife. They quickly filled up predators that scared off many of the birds that Richard and his team were just beginning to learn about the peat lands
were turning into a tree farm, so yeah pretty soul, destroying as they did their work. Richard and the other scientists were called to testify in local meetings about the forestry project, and they had to argue that this seemingly empty worthless landscape was actually worth protecting an essentially it's it's our equivalent of the tropical rain Forced by the forest industry, didn't see it that way. I just have this general memory, his ping shouted at alarmed for a very long time. They were. bringing the table when they were shouting our trust demanding to know what This already doing to reach our response was recently doing our job in her job was to identify important areas of the nation's wildlife heritage.
That's exactly what we were doing. Was it weird at the time to be arguing that trees were up environmental problem that were so difficult? Yes, but You know it's like everything. Medication is a good thing used in the right way in the right place. Used in the wrong way in the wrong place. It's a poison tat was the tricky message. We had to try and get a cross, but over time. Public opinion and turn against the tree planting a lot of that have to do that. Tat. It seemed like an egregious form of tax avoidance, but the message about the peat lands was also starting to get through
the government eventually agreed to protect about half of the people and that Richard and his team had surveyed and then a couple months later they completely ended. The tax scheme colleague phoned me and just said: it's gone gone. The forest grand scheme is gone. I remember I had to sit down a resource prized. It was a big win for the bog and the conservationists fighting to protect it, and in the decades that followed the way people saw the flow country really started to shift. It went from being a place. People avoided to a play the people wanted to see the largest blanket bog and all of Europe and people coming to visit it to see this. This amazing landscape and all of this gradually chip
The way the idea of this is useless. Wasteland people began to relate to it ass, their landscape, their precious landscape, but a lot of damage has been done over a hundred and fifty thousand acres of the foe country had been drained and planted with trees. These trees never really grew very well. They were short and stubby and not very useful as timber, but plantations pushed out native wild life that depended on the bog and damage the precious PETE. That story and all that carbon and the flow country wasn't the only place where this kind of thing happened. She lay to take one example started and send devising tree planting around the same time as the UK, and while they did plant allowed tree,
Is the effort lead to a decline in biodiversity and negligible climate benefits in Alberta, Canada? They drained large swathes of bog in order to plant trees again starting in the eighties, but most those trees burn down in the format Murray Fire of twenty. Sixteen in part because the once wet ground had been drained dry I couldn't nineteen eighties Richard Linsey and his colleagues were only concerned about the biodiversity and the under appreciated peat bog. But in recent years, Says the urgency of the climate crisis grows, Spain and increased focus on carbon storage and ecosystems signed just studying the carbon dynamics and kelp forests and see grass beds in peat lands, in particular we're getting a lot of attention for their carbon storing powers. You know you ve gone mainstream when Alec Baldwin
he's talking about you and appear say for the: U N, peat lands are crucial to fight climate change and here's the thing about people and they matter for the planet, because they actually store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests together, while covering less than three percent of the land surface. So people are the most efficient terrorist, real carbon sink under planet. This is Roxanne Anderson she's been studying. Peat lands for a while now at the Environmental Research Institute in Scotland and for decades it felt like she was laboring away in some obscure corner of academia. She didn't have. Journalists like me, bugging her for interviews, but that's changing. I think this year alone, I must have given something like an eighteen or twenty interviews, but Anderson. when it comes to carbon storage. Peons still don't get the attention that forests. Do she it's, because all the carbon and appealing
is below ground. I think that its because it's not visible that does why that his name, I heard, has really resonated. If you look at a forest ye see trees, see the vegetation you see where the carbon, as you see why its thinking of carbon, but even though the carbon an appeal when these hidden underground, it's not locked away forever, just as a forest, burned down appeal income, degraded can be gobbled up for agriculture ranching and when that happens, A lot of its carbon goes up into the atmosphere and the carbon sink becomes a carbon source and that's what happened in the flow country, except in this case, the crop that was gobbling up. The Portland was trees. When you drain peat bog to plant trees, it released
carbon and then, as the trees grow, their brutes impact the way the carbon in the soil is processed and the card and losses from the soil can actually exceeds the amount of carbon has taken up the tree, so planting trees on PETE, Angie PETE, particularly, is really really not. A good idea is leads the unintended consequences of peace you're, losing more carbon, then, and you can gain through the trees and so now in the full country. The best thing for the climate may actually be to cut trees down is pointless cubic being in some of these dark damp plantations. So when you start taking them down and start opening up the landscape again in some ways, Actually quite cathartic. This is Paul Turner, Warden, with the royal society for the protection of birds and ninety Mammy. Five, the arrest p be purchased a fifty thousand acre reserve and the flow country on land that had been heavily
planted with trees. Since then, I been working to restore the bog. We really Spencer five years, trying to repair damage that is done in the seventies and eighties, two bits. The pavement sum up contractors doing this repair work are actually the same local people who train the ball back in the eighties. First, they cut the trees down and hold them out. Then the crucial next step is to rework the soil. They build dams and the peat to try their return. The water table to its normal level and get that soggy bog back gloves. Is done with heavy machinery, and it does not look pretty yeah you days, for actually this is quite a destructive process, but when you start, seeing some of the work that we that's ten fifteen years ago. It really makes you feel quite good, bye, when you are trying to achieve with the rocks and Andersson has studied the box that Paul Turner and the irish people have restored to try and understand the climate impacts. What we
founders that, when you think, trees down from a pink whenever do the rest, initially at reduced carbon. That does not very surprising because of the kind of physical damage that you have to do in terms of getting the words and everything else, but over the course of decades of restoration, the bogs have switched back from a carbon source to a carbon sink effectively. Returning this kind of carbon benefit or climate benefits of peat lands, but as they do this work, Paul Turner keeps running into the same problem that Richard Lindsey did thirty years ago. It's hard to explain it. people why trees in this very specific situation are bad for the ecosystem. There are a lot of people. I don't really understand why we are cutting trees down because surely hunting trees is is the best thing to do, and I mentioned before Planting trees in the right place,
it s. A really good thing to do Paul is not anti tree. In fact, the arrest people actually helps manage another piece of land in Scotland and the Karen Goran Mountains, where they are actively planting trees in an effort to rest or the forest and sequester carbon, and the scottish government is helping fund both of these efforts, Scotland, the goal of restoring over six hundred thousand acres of peat bog by twenty thirty. At the same time, they want to plant forty thousand acres of new forest each year. Planting trees in one place, justice they are cutting trees down in another place. standing that not all habitats are equal, that not all habitats, she'd have trees on them and they were talking about climate change mitigation. The one answer doesn't apply to every problem: forests. A great, but they aren't great everywhere. Yeah I mean I love for US
but I love other ecosystems. To this is a forest scientist named forest forest fleischmann. Guess, I'm one of the big mistakes that the Chilean tree paper made. Is they sort of said well areas without trees? Don't have carbon and that's not true, because areas were trees had carbon below ground and not just people healthy. Grasslands also store carbon underground Susan, Just thinking about how many trees we can plant, we should be thinking. All the different ways we can maximize carbon storage in any given landscape without sacrificing biodiversity that might be restoring peat lands or protecting the grasslands, forests, and it might, in plain, more trees and if planting trees
Is the right thing for a landscape? We're gonna have to do more than just plant them. Forest Fleischmann has studied tree planting efforts that are being done for climate change and he's found that often they fail because of the focus is on that initial act of getting the saplings in the ground, because if something got a politician can walk in and do and yet the picture taken and be on the front page of the newspaper beyond TV, but then often in the years that follow those trees get cut down by people or even by cows or bird in a fire. So this dialogue has only needs a plant, a trillion trees. Well, actually we do need to plant a trillion trees. Let's say the chilean trees is right. We need to make sure that a trillion trees grow and making sure that trees.
row is more complicated than planting them. Placement says the first step is to stop cutting down the healthy forest that we have left. We need to stop illegal logging and boycott the companies that are driving before a station and work to protect the rights of indigenous people, who are often the best part. of forests and where we do plant new forests, we need to work with local people to make sure that they benefit from the new trees and are invested in keeping them growing So when we start thinking about it this way it really becomes a political, an economic problem, not a technical tree, planting problem. I think that people get relax. About tree planting in part, because it's a solution that seems to exist outside of politics and economics. It's this simple natural solution that doesn't require us to ass massive legislation, or a whole new energy system, but the truth is
climate change is fundamentally a complicated political and economic and technological problem. There is no one perfect solution but we need to solve it anyway, bogs or the best. We have so many more cool facts about box. After this,
More and more were living our lives online. It's become kind of like a virtual home and like a real home, you want your web home to look good in feel good in this doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. You should let square space help whiskers base. You can showcase your work, so your products or just connect with friends and family. The way you want to their beautiful templates are created by world class designers, so they look good right out of the box, but you have this ability to customize, look feel and settings with just a few clicks and their sights come with built in search engine optimist. Mission in free, insecure, hosting, make yourself with square space squares, based outcomes, less invisible for a free trial and when you're ready to launch use Africa invisible to save ten percent of your first purchase of a website or domain your miles go further with the capital
on venture card. The travel card that lets you earn unlimited double miles for more than just air travel right now or in one hundred thousand bonus miles. You can actually use redeemable for vacation rentals, car rentals and more when you spend twenty thousand dollars in your first year. What's in your wallet, limited time offer terms apply, see capitalone dot com for details. If you think you may be depressed or you just feeling overwhelmed. Who could blame you? The world is extremely tough right now, better help offers license online counselors, who are trained to listen and help. You can talk with your counselor and a private online environment, and you can talk at your convenience.
Whether you dealing with anxiety, family, conflict or difficulty sleeping, but our help has councillors with expertise in a broad range of areas join the one million plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced better help councillor. In fact, so many people have been using better help there currently recruiting additional councillors in all fifty states. Better help is an affordable option and our listeners get ten percent off your first month with the discount code. Invisible get started today and better eighty opiate outcomes, less invisible, talked with therapist online and get help. So it is back and we're gonna talk about bogs, yes, one or two things that I found it
same learning. All about bogs was all the language around them. You know you ve gotten, so many different words for bogs, Bog, Shan Mire more Marsh swamp. Pakistan This is merit resky again the the queen of peat from our saurian, and she says that these are these arts synonyms, necessarily our subtle differences between all these different work. Some of them are rooted in ecology and wetland classification. Some of them a regional, but there is also this. This whole sort of metaphorical side to bog language wetland. Language like we use a lot of these words alot, actually not in people in science way. But this kind of more poetic metaphorical sense and usually bog language, connotes starkness right like getting bogged down in something right exactly, but there's a lot of other exam
like a quagmire, ripe bog and you can get you can do mired in something a Meyer is a type of blogger. Actually, I think a bog is a type of Meyer. It's like us, square rectangle. Securing a morass is another word for a kind of martian Oghee Wetland, but also like a confusing situation that you might get stuck in. So what is the explanation for why we use these words so much when most people probably don't experience box on a really regular basis, and I think that for Mary Trotzky since there is like, even though bogs are these clay, has there been so is by a lot of time with always means of always been fascinated by them, and they ve always represented this. Like almost supernatural in between Space- and I think because of the mysterious nests of not being
and not being water not being fully alive not being fully dead day. There are really fascinating to us, and so bogs in movies, in pop culture in in literature, often represent a place where people can, I'd from society or where you can potentially get lost. and this is totally true in in books and ends and movies, like I remember I'm in withering height, scenery have the moors, which are often are presented throughout the book, as this kind of foreboding landscape, where they might Catherine heatwave might get lost or drowns or in Lord of the rings stay they serve line their way through these marshes that filled with day faces. Looking up they're dead things that faces the water
When I was a kid, the one that really got me was the swamp of sadness and a never ending story. You know where his His horse actually get swallowed up, and it is so tragic, so upsetting yeah, totally I pay almost pulled a clip from that, but it was like to kind of unpleasant to listen to the voice screen about his throughout a horse is very sad as the one that really comes to mind, for me is the princess You know the characters are our traversing or navigating their way through a fire swamp wearing a burst of flames come up through the story they have to dodge these hazards, what are the three thousand one? The flames by problem is a fucking sound, proceeding each we can avoid thus to Lighting Sir you will have enough to discover that looks like so. In the future, we can only have two Leslie Are you assess, wrote us
usual size. I dont think tanks How did you forget the roads, unusual as right, and you know the R. U S is obviously dont really exists, but Trotzky says that some aspects of of the fire swamp like are quite as far fetched as you might imagine. There are gas, as some of them are flammable that are produced in these very wet saturated bog systems, We do not often see flames leaping up through a bug system, but there is a lot of methane produced because, as you know, this really anaerobic de composition and that they actually could be flammable, rebellious frolicking that there could be based in any kind of re. I mean come to think of it. The dead people bogs like that Lord of the rings at that also feels like a reference to the the bog people that we read your touch on and in the main body of the episode right,
bodies yeah, and so you know in general, I think bogs are portrayed as these kind of dark scary He says, as we ve seen throughout this, and and unlike usually, there is some truth stood out like they. They are hard to walk through and you can its stock in the mud and there are weird gases. So it's like the it's like a caricature of based in some amount of a real, very real, accurate details of what it's like, but it also falls really short in in fully appreciating them for the incredible places that they are yet. So I have Bogs are like my favorite ecosystem. I think they're, so cool ice to study, botany and the midwestern. Much more bogs is no box here and really on the West Coast to speak out, but there is real bogs there. I like cranberry bog. I like a quaking bog, I'm thinking bodies like with a grows so dick the tree. this can grow on it? If you get enough people, they can jump on the stagnant and trees can sway from you.
Jumping on the ground. It is like bugs are amazing. I love him. I wanted to pass this story because I want to go to Scotland and check out these bombs as I also things and then and then that it immediately became an impossibility with difficult situation. But can I share one cool bog fact that I didn't get to work into the story? Do absolutely go for it So did you know that bogs bereave? No, I did not know that so there's this yet as this common phenomenon in PETE Science. Bog breathing and what we mean by that is that the surface of above the surface of the vegetation layer, moves up and down and expand. The orange shrinks depend being on the hydrology and where the water table is sitting, and this is actually an adaptive trade. It means when conditions are
where the water table adjusts and of the whole PETE Layer adjust to that shift when things get dry again that heat layers so so is utterly breathing, as unlike respiration is more like a metaphor of movement when it when they say bog breathing. yeah yeah, it's almost like I think of it, is like the bog is like I'd like giants belly. That's like rising and falling as the ecosystem. Sort of breeds in and out take some more space in kind of pushes up to the sky. Almost like your diaphragm would expand when you're taking a deep breath, but then that can also contract
and that Russia's then expelled- and you know this- isn't a new phenomenon that scientists have known about by breathing for a really long time, but its incredibly difficult to measure. So this is rocks and Anderson again, and so, if you think about it, trying to go and measure how much deserve this moves up and down and that's in the order of millimetres, you know if you try to measure that, by working onto the bog, witches and unstable oh, and what resources it's gonna be very difficult. It is like trying to measure the surface water bad. You know like a constantly moves underneath your fee, that that must be really frustrating if you're trying to measure it yeah eggs. Exactly and so, rocks and Emerson and her colleagues have been looking at ways that they could measure this without actually going out and trying to measure the surface manually and what we ve been looking at is using satellite
That's uses radar so basically using radar from a satellite to send a signal down to the bog every few days and getting measurements on how that surface level is changing over time. What rocks and her colleagues have been trying to figure out as they can? They use that bog breathing pattern from the saddle?
data as the indicator of the overall health of the people and is like a is, like a doctor, prettiest stethoscope, to get your back and same deep breath right right, exactly exactly and any new. I think gathering that data could help scientists understand whether a PETE Lend is functioning as a healthy people and then a robust carbon sink or whether its degraded in some way that you may be didn't, know and and might be actually emitting carbon. So so, what's the pending their funding and the like, like? How do you tell if the breathing of a bug is healthier, not yeah, I asked rocks and that so what we found is that kind of healthy beat, let it if you like, they have won Pekin one trust roughly every year and the pic is usually there really healthy. As usual, we gonna be in the autumn. We have quite a high amplitude and then the draft is gonna be an end in the spring we have. This kind of cycle is essential,
one one big brescian and one big breath out every year, yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah and then the more integrated it gets, the more it just becomes can have no no peaks and troughs just another flatter life. Well, you don't wanna, see a flower liquor. Looking gauger you'll want that right. Right- and you know, Russia says that this new way of gathering vibrating data is actually like, really important or could be really really important for Peelin conservation globally. I think that the interesting thing for me about this is that it completely changes the way that we can understand people globally, because we can just do that in a way we spend a giant. Did the validation might be done here for any type of beet when you might end up with no way and what the signal either the breathing pattern for a particular type of people, s and you might be able to the text anomalies in diagnostic of degradation authority, lens dead,
You know that are impossible to reach a very, very difficult to reach, really remote or impossible to visit on a regular basis, and this is really important because, like you so many humans are in these remote locations and their their places that humans have tended to avoid and were actually still discovering new peat lands and an often there there really hard to access, and so it could be. This really helpful tool in mapping and understanding the role that peat lands a plane as carbon sinks or as carbon sources, and we want to think that it is really interesting about. The story is that the peat lands are doing a lot of good if their healthy, but is there not healthy there? Actually, clean of a problem because they release that carbon that they stored bright, exactly and super important we find out where they are and monitor them and and really are invested in keeping them healthy. All around the world, like it's like all of our well being, is sort of caught up in that carbon beneath these hot spots, all over the world
Oh, it's so cool ILO bogs even more now. Thank you so much Emmett yeah course ninety nine percent. Invisible was produces week by Emmett Fitzgerald makes by Bryson Bart music by Genral, our senior blues, is Delaney Hall. Crook call step is the digital director rescue team is Christopher. Johnson Libyan lay crisper, Ruby, Joe Rosenberg Katy, mingle, Abbe, DAWN Sophia Cluster and me Roman, Mars, special thanks this to Jesse Reynolds from you see. I lay who we also spoke to for this story and also to writers Virginia given ensuring levy whose articles about the flow country got us into in the region. If you want to read more about PETE lend restoration in Scotland, we have links to their fantastic articles on our website, nine. I m p I dot org our project of ninety one point: seven K w in San Francisco and produced on
radio row which lives at the far end. North America, but has entered and beautiful, downtown Oakland California, We are voting. Member of radio Tokyo from Pierre acts are fiercely independent. Collective of most innovative list are supported. One hundred percent artists- own punk, ass in the world fund, more ready. Toby. I don't I found You can tell me a roman Mars and show at nine I've got Org Instagram and read it to you. Can now, our first books and ninety nine percent, invisible city and ninety nine I dont works last book, we have links to purchase it anywhere. You get your books, including signed additions and the audio book, and if you did get the book and enjoyed it review it somewhere that's a huge boost to us for all your other ninety nine p, I need look no further and then I m, I dot. Org
radio, too.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-19.