C-PEAT scientific goals

The formation of the C-PEAT WG follows on from two recent workshops, the first at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in October 2013, (report) and another in San Francisco, California in December 2013, as well as previous community-wide synthesis effort on the last millennium. These two recent workshops aimed to synthesize peat C records from circum-Arctic peatlands during the Holocene. The WG plans to expand community-wide synthesis efforts both in space and time.


The WG will bring international peatland C researchers together to focus on an important global-change question, that is, how has the very large peatland C pool accumulated since the Last Glacial Maximum and what is its climate sensitivity at global and regional scales?

Furthermore, how much C existed in peatlands and other peat deposits during pre-Holocene warm intervals and what were their impact on Earth’s carbon cycle and climate?
To address these questions, the long-term goals of C-PEAT WG are to:

1. Compile and synthesize peat C accumulation data and knowledge to improve understanding of peat C dynamics at global scale during the Holocene and beyond,

2. Establish an international network of peat C researchers and facilitate their interactions and collaborations, also with carbon cycle modelers, and

3. Develop and maintain a public database for synthesis and modeling analysis.

Planned activities

Specific planned activities and objectives include:

- Peat accumulation and expansion in the Antarctic: a workshop is planned for fall 2014 to identify key questions and future research directions

- Continuation of circum-Arctic peatland synthesis, including focus on spatial patterns and peatland lateral expansion process/history

- Synthesis of peat accumulation records in tropical and southern peatlands and approaching an update of global peatland synthesis

- Data and model inter-comparison analysis, especially during the last millennium at global scale

- Estimation of peat C pools during pre-Holocene warm climates periods

Topical Groups

C-PEAT has set up the the following topical groups for the current phase:
1. Tropical peatlands
2. Permafrost peat C stock
3. Lost peats underwater or on land
4. Peat during glacial-interglacial cycle
5. Pre-Quaternary peats
6. Data analysis methods
7. Peatland process modeling

Contact details for the leaders of each of these groups can be found under C-PEAT People.