Ground fires in Tablas de Daimiel Nat Park
Ground (peat) fires are rare in the Mediterranean basin, but here is an example, in a wetland that burns because drained for agricultural purposes. Overexploitation of water resources (illegal wells and canalisation of the rivers) has caused the water-table to drop, and made prone to burn. This is happening in a National Park classified as a UNESCO biosphere site and an EU protected area because of its birdlife …
- Spanish wetlands shrouded in smoke as overfarming dries out peat, Guardian.co.uk, 19 Oct 2009
- EU Investigates Dried Up Spanish Wetland, Fox News (Ass. Press), 22 Oct 2009
- Spanish wetland facing destruction as farming starves it of water, Guardian.co.uk, 22 Oct 2009
- More news
News in Spanish | Noticias:
- Un insólito incendio subterráneo azota las Tablas de Daimiel, El País, 12 Oct 2009
- Medio Ambiente admite que el daño en las Tablas ‘es irreversible’, El País, 13 Oct 2009
- Trasvase de emergencia contra el incendio subterráneo de Daimiel, El País, 14 Oct 2009
- El parque nacional de Las Tablas de Daimiel agoniza, LaVanguardia.es, 18 Oct 2009
- Hallado otro foco del fuego subterráneo de Daimiel, El Pais, 20 Oct 2009
- Cuatro fuegos bajo Daimiel, El Pais, 31 Oct 2009
- Greenpeace augura un “futuro agónico” a Las Tablas de Daimiel, Europa press, 7 Nov 2009
- Salvemos las Tablas de Daimiel, CLM en Vivo [video]
- Ecologistas rechazan el tasvase a Daimiel [video]
- Más noticias.
- Información previa sobre el estado del Parque, en El País, 1 Jun 2008
When talking about peat fires we remember the 1997 Indonesia fire which burned 8 million hectares and countless millions of people suffered from air pollution (see figure below). In that area there was abundant and thick peat (which is a very important carbon store) that was drained for land development and agriculture (e.g., palm oil production), making them prone to fire. As a consequence of burning this dry peat, the 1997 Indonesia fire emitted a vast amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Indeed, the growth rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled and reached the highest levels on record; it was equivalent to 13-40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels yet it came from a small area of the globe (Page et al. 2002).
Air pollution over Indonesia and the Indian Ocean on October 22, 1997 (TOMS satellite instrument)
Certainly we need to preserve wetlands and peatlands, not only for their biodiversity value, but also for their role in the global carbon budget.