Climate change could trigger the Congo peatlands to release billions of tons of carbon

New research reveals that the world’s largest tropical peatland turned from being a major store of carbon to a source of damaging carbon dioxide emissions as a result of climate change thousands of years ago. Around the time that Stonehenge was built, 5,000 years ago, the climate of central Congo began to dry leading to the peatlands emitting carbon dioxide. The peatlands only stopped releasing carbon and reverted back to taking carbon out of the atmosphere when the climate got wetter again in the past 2,000 years, according to a major international study Scientists involved in the study are warning that if modern-day global heating produces droughts in the Congo region, history could repeat itself, dangerously accelerating climate change.

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