Peatlands are critical to the health of the planet, and to our own continued existence. These habitats provide us with so much benefit, including providing us with sphagnum peat moss – the primary, traditional growing substrate used in horticulture today. As we harvest peat moss from peat bogs, tons of millions – perhaps billions – of carbon are released each year.
Peatlands make up only 3% of the Earth’s land surface, yet they sequester 30-33% of all known soil carbons. Their ability to store away carbon from the atmosphere exceeds every other carbon-storing habitat, including all of the planet’s forests. The loss of just 1.5% of the planet’s peatlands is equivalent to an entire year’s release of carbon pollution.
Peatlands aren’t only beneficial for carbon storage, though. Healthy bogs provide a habitat for various endangered species, help to purify drinking water, and protect against flooding. These ecosystems are similar to modern fossil fuel deposits: carbon dense and non-renewable.
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