Seminar - Holocene palaeoclimate and carbon accumulation response in northern peatlands
Northern peatlands contain over 500 Gt C and have acted as a major sink of carbon over the whole of the Holocene. However, there is considerable uncertainty over possible feedbacks between peatland carbon sequestration rates and climate; do peatlands accumulate carbon faster or more slowly in a warmer world?
There is much to be learned from the record of carbon sequestration in the fossil record of peatlands, especially when large-scale changes in carbon accumulation rates are available alongside records of climate change. This talk will review the palaeoclimate evidence from northern peatlands and then focus on the last millennium of climate variability and peat accumulation to assess the role of northern peatlands in the global carbon cycle and the sign and magnitude of the feedback between peat growth and global climate change. A key finding from this work is that northern peatlands provided a net negative feedback to climate warming in the past and may do so again in the future.
Speaker: Professor Dan Charman, Head of Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
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