Chapter 6 Carbon country

Chapter 6- Carbon Country

143. On the extent of blanket bog and other peatlands in the UK, a useful resource is: Paterson G. and Anderson R., (2000). Forests and peatland habitats: guideline note. Forestry Commission. This source can be accessed on-line here:$FILE/fcgn1.pdf

143. On the state of peatlands in the UK see Joint Nature Conservation Committee, (2011). Towards an assessment of the state of UK Peatlands, JNCC report No. 445.

143. Bain, C.G., et al., (2011) IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands. IUCN UK Peatland Programme, Edinburgh.

143. On the specific situation in Scotland this official source is helpful. Marsden K. and Ebmeier, S., (2012). SPICe Briefing. Peatlands and Climate Change. Scottish Parliament. 

Another useful source is Cummins, R., Donnelly, D., Nolan, A., Towers, W., Chapman, S., Grieve, I. and Birnie, R. (2011). Peat erosion and the management of peatland habitats. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 410. 

144. I mention the atmospheric milestone of 400 ppm carbon dioxide being reached in 2013. Here are some reactions from scientists working with NASA

144. For a source that describes Pliocene carbon dioxide concentrations reaching 415 ppm see: Pagani, M. et al., (2009). High Earth-system climate sensitivity determined from Pliocene carbon dioxide concentrations Nature Geoscience 3, 27 – 30. Find that on-line here:

145. On the climate-change related threats to Britain’s high mountain wildlife this source gives a little more:

145. Met Office scientists have warned of a temperature increase of four degress by the 2060s, see for example.

145. Regarding the possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, see for example: Pollard, D. and DeConto, R,M, (2009). Modeling West Antarctic ice sheet growth and collapse through the past five million years. Nature 458. Find that on-line here:

145-146. Regarding the melting of ice on Greenland due to higher temperatures for example see:

146. The cut of carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels is the overall science-based objective of the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act.

147. For an overview of the land-based strategies for mitigating climate changing emissions see:  Committee on Climate Change (2013). Managing the land in a changing climate – Adaptation Sub-Committee progress report 2013. Climate Change Committee. Find that on-line here:

147. For a source for the figure of 3.7 million tonnes of carbon released from British peatlands, see: Worrall, F., et al., (2011). A review of current evidence on carbon fluxes and greenhouse gas emissions from UK peatlands. JNCC research report 442, Peterborough.

148. For estimates on carbon dioxide released from farmland, woodland and indeed other ecosystem types see:
Thompson, D. (2008). Carbon Management by Land and Marine Managers. Natural England Research Reports, Number 026.

149-150. For more about Abernethy Forest see this document from Scottish Natural Heritage.

 151. For estimates on carbon dioxide stored in and released from woodland see: Thompson, D. (2008). Carbon Management by Land and Marine Managers. Natural England Research Reports, Number 026.

153-154. I mention the rate of saltmarsh loss around the Thames Estuary and the coastal squeeze facing many areas of such habitat around Britain. The Natural England report, Coastal squeeze, saltmarsh loss and Special Protection Areas presents a good national summary (Report No 710). Download it from here: Report 710.

154. I mention research by the Universities of Edinburgh and Virginia looking at carbon accumulation in saltmarshes. This was from Matthew L. Kirwan and Simon M. Mudd (2012). Response of salt-marsh carbon accumulation to climate change. Nature, 489 (7417). A summary of that work can be found here:

155. On the carbon capture potential of different coastal ecosystems see Beaumont, N. J., et al., (2014). The value of carbon sequestration and storage in coastal habitats (2014) Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 137, pp.32-40. This paper can be downloaded here. These authors also present financial values as to the work being done by coastal systems in catching and storing carbon.

157. For more information about the Humberhead Levels National Nature Reserve see:

157-158. And for more on Chat Moss these sources provide relevant information:

158-159. For more information about Woodwalton Fen and the Great Fen Project see:

158-159. For more specific background on the carbon benefit potential of the Great Fen Project see Gauci,V., (2008). Carbon Balance and Offset Potential of the Great Fen Project. The Open University and Gauci Land Carbon Consulting. That source can be accessed on-line here:

159-160. For more data on carbon in farmed soils see for example Bradley, R. I. et al., (2005). A soil carbon and land use database for the United Kingdom. Soil Use and Management, 21, pp.363-369. That source can be found here:

162-163. I carry extracts of an interview with Dr Nick Atkinson from the Woodland Trust. More on his organisation here:

161-162. For the report of the Ecosystems Markets Task Force, see EMTF, (2013). Realising nature’s value:  The Final Report of the Ecosystem Markets Task Force. EMTF. The section relating to the economic potential of scaling up local wood-fuel production begins on page 13. You can see that report on-line here:

164. More about Grown in Britain here:

166. I mention that British Ministers have been working to weaken key legislation that presently protects many of the places I describe in this and other chapters. See this summary from the Wildlife Trusts and this from RSPB