World’s oldest tropical peatland found in Indonesia
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A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Oregon in the United States claimed to have discovered what could possibly be the oldest tropical peatland in the world.
- Peatlands are a type of soil made from organic matter such as wood and leaves.
- The site was found near the city of Putussibau, on the Indonesian-administered area of the island of Borneo. It was dated to be formed at least 47,800 years ago, according to radiocarbon dating.
- The discovery of the site suggested that the region had remained sufficiently wet and warm enough during the last ice age to support the growth of peat, according to the scientists.
- The site was found to be 17 to 18 metres deep. The average peat depth in Indonesia is 5 to 6 metres, the scientist noted.
- Peatlands store a lot of carbon and play an important role in the carbon cycle. Indonesia’s ancient peatlands are increasingly becoming threatened due to changes in land use, according to the researchers.