Satellite Map Identifies Peatland Areas where Restoration has the Greatest Carbon Impact

October 4, 2021

 

https://www.terramotion.co.uk/carbonpotentialmapgp3Peatland organisations and experts from across the globe have joined together to pledge their collective commitment to tackling climate change, protecting nature and forging ahead for the health of our planet. The Global Peat Press Project (GP3) supported by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Peatland Initiative (GPI) and the North Pennines AONB is a press and social media collaboration to share experiences and celebrate the successes of ongoing work that unites international peatland partners.

Around 12% of land in the UK is cover by peatlands – nearly three million hectares.  Peatlands are a natural store of carbon but centuries of exploitation, particularly draining the peat to plant forests or grow crops, have led to damage and degradation, meaning that they are now a net source of UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In healthy peatlands, the surface responds seasonally to changes in water and gas volumes by rising and falling, a phenomenon known as “bog breathing”. When averaged over time, the surface motion of a healthy peatlands shows net uplift, as a result of mass gain. In contrast, the surface a degraded peatland shows a net collapse, indicative of loss of mass and therefore carbon. Terra Motion Limited, a spin-out company from the University of Nottingham, have developed a novel technique that uses satellite radar data to measure this motion to millimetric accuracy for peatlands at local, regional and national scale.  Ongoing research led by the University of Nottingham and the Thurso-based Environmental Research Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands) funded by NatureScot recently showed the huge potential of their APSIS™ land motion product for the monitoring of peatland condition.

In the run-up to COP26, Terra Motion have surveyed the surface motion of all peatland areas across the UK and the Republic of Ireland using their APSIS™ technology to develop another product. Rather than condition categories, the map shows the average surface motion of peatland areas over a five-year period (2016-21) and was put together through an advanced analysis of thousands of satellite radar images gathered by the Sentinel-1 satellite. The map is particularly suited to highlighting areas with the rapid rates of collapse generally associated with actively eroding peatlands, which have the highest emissions but also the greatest potential for carbon offsetting in support of national commitments to reduce emissions and to achieve net zero.

Learn more 

MFFP image
Peak District study reveals depths of carbon stored in threatened landscapesWith the UN Climate Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow in under one months’ time, a new study…
WaterLANDS logo
WaterLANDS: New European Green Deal project launched to lead largescale restoration of European wetlandsAn ambitious project has been launched to tackle largescale restoration of Europe’s wetlands, with…
A detail from the map indicating areas of the highest carbon potential (in red) derived from the peat motion map covering the period 2016-21.  Potential carbon savings and their market value per annum are indicated for the different areas highlighted.
Satellite Map Identifies Peatland Areas where Restoration has the Greatest Carbon ImpactPeatland organisations and experts from across the globe have joined together to pledge their…
Peatland Pavilion concept
Peatland Pavilion will feature at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)The Peatland Pavilion will provide a hub for highlighting the important role that peatlands play…
Bord na mona
United Nations recognizes major Irish Peatland Restoration initiativeDianna Kopansky of the United Nations Environment Programme has recognised the initiative led by…
GPI logo
Open call! Your opportunity to participate as a Contributing Author for the GPI’s upcoming Global Peatlands AssessmentThe Global Peatlands Initiative are currently looking for Contributing Authors (CAs) to participate…
Peatlands Are...
Reflections from Bog Day 2021This year's Bog Day was celebrated around the world on Sunday 25th July - bringing peatlands to the…
Power Station image
UK invests over £30m in large-scale greenhouse gas removalWe are delighted to support this project which will investigate the management of peatlands to…
IUCN UK PP Conf 21
Conference 2021 Registration OpenSign up for this year's IUCN UK Peatland Programme conference ‘Peatlands in Partnership: a road to…
Butterburn flow
Nature for Climate Peatland Grant SchemeInformation about the scheme to restore English peatlands and how to apply for funding.
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…