Climate change: Peat bogland being transformed into 'giant sponge' to soak up carbon in atmosphere

An ancient bogland could be key to the UK's targets to reduce carbon emissions, ITV News North of England Reporter Hannah Miller reports

An ancient peat bog on the outskirts of Greater Manchester is being restored in hopes that it will transform into a 'giant sponge' to soak up carbon from the atmosphere.

In fact, the restored bog could store ten times more carbon than a forest of the same size.

Almost 3,500 pools are being dug into this ancient bogland, and each one of these pools if full of Sphagnum peat mosses.

The mosses will lock carbon into the peat, and as the moss grows and grows, it is hoped the bogland will capture carbon for centuries to come.

The damage to the peatlands began during the industrial revolution when smog from the factories dried it out and stopped it storing carbon like it used to.

ITV News North of England Reporter Hannah Miller at an ancient bogland on the outskirts of Greater Manchester Credit: ITV News

But the benefits of the restored bogland go beyond cleaning up the air: the extra provision of water can lead to improved biodiversity and it can protect neighbouring communities from flooding.

The world's largest ever report into climate change, released on Monday by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has warned that without rapid and large-scale cuts to greenhouse gas pollution, limiting warming to 1.5C - the target set by countries in the Paris climate treaty - will be beyond reach.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres described the report as a “code red for humanity”.

Meanwhile, wildfires in Greece have burned for the seventh day as ferocious blazes spread through countries like Italy, Siberia and the United States.

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