No support for carbon storage of > 1,000 GtC in northern peatlands.
Northern peatlands store large amounts of carbon: 500 ± 100 GtC, according to a consolidated estimate from a diversity of methods1,2,3,4,5,6. However, Nichols and Peteet7 presented an estimate of 1,055 GtC, exceeding previous estimates of carbon stock in global peatlands2 and in northern peatlands by a factor of two. Here we argue that this is an overestimate, caused by systematic bias introduced by their inclusion of 14C dates from mineral deposits and other unsuitable sites, the use of records that lack direct measurements of carbon density, and the methodology issues. Furthermore, their estimate is difficult to reconcile within the top-down constraints imposed by ice-core and marine records, and estimated contributions from other processes that affected the terrestrial carbon storage during the Holocene epoch.
Authors: Yu, Z., Joos, F., Bauska, T.K. ORCID record for T.K. Bauska, Stocker, B.D., Fischer, H., Loisel, J., Brovkin, V., Hugelius, G., Nehrbass-Ahles, C., Kleinen, T., Schmitt, J.