Magazine article Geographical

Indonesia's Burning Issue: Extreme Forest and Peat Burning in Indonesia Has Released Three Times the Annual Fossil Fuel Emissions of the United Kingdom

Magazine article Geographical

Indonesia's Burning Issue: Extreme Forest and Peat Burning in Indonesia Has Released Three Times the Annual Fossil Fuel Emissions of the United Kingdom

Article excerpt

Indonesia is home to the world's third-largest tropical forest, in which over 100,000 individual fires have been burning in recent months, primarily across the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Consequently, up to 1.5 billion tonnes of C[O.sub.2] had been released between the start of August (when the fires began burning) and the end of October, making Indonesia one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in 2015 with daily emissions exceeding the entire US economic output.

"The present-day peat fire dynamic of insular Southeast Asia is the consequence of what might be described as a "perfect storm" of events that provide the key ingredients for fire activity, namely an abundance both of fuel and of ignition sources,' says Susan Page, professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester.

Page states that over the last two decades, the region has experienced some of the highest rates of forest loss and disturbance anywhere in the tropics, with a particularly high loss rate for peat swamp forest. …

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