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Science
HOME PLANET
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PROGRAMME INFO
Tuesday 15:00-15:30
Richard Daniel chairs the interactive environmental programme in which he and his guests deal with listener's questions and concerns.
Call 0370 010 0400
home.planet@bbc.co.uk
Home Planet, PO Box 3096, Brighton BN1 1PL
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 24 January
PRESENTER
RICHARD DANIEL
Richard Daniel
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 24 January 2006
Earth ©NASA

Panel

Derek Moore OBE
Wildlife Trusts

Dr Nick Brown
Department of Plant Science, University of Oxford

Dr Chris Collins
Reader in Soil Science, University of Reading

Professor Philip Stott
Bio-geographer, University of London

TOPICS

How much C02 is released through forest fires in Indonesia?
Friends of the Earth info
Down to Earth Forest Fires Special Supplement
BBC News

Dr Nick Brown estimated the amount of C02 that may have been released by these fires. He based his calculations on the work of Page, S E, F Siegert, J O Rieley, H-D V Boehm, A Jaya, and S Limin. 2002. "The amount of carbon released from peat and forest fires in Indonesia during 1997". Nature 420:61-65.

These authors extrapolate from a 2.5 million hectare study area in Central Kalimantan, Borneo to the whole of the country. They estimate that as a result of the fires in 1997 between 0.81 and 2.57 Gigatonnes of carbon were released.

Even without the catastrophic loss of the huge peat deposits in Kalimantan, deforestation alone is releasing very significant quantities of carbon. The annual rate of deforestation in Indonesia since 1997 has been about 500 thousand hectares per year (Fuller, D O, T C Jessup, and A Salim. 2004. "Loss of Forest Cover in Kalimantan, Indonesia, Since the 1997-1998 El Nino". Conservation Biology 18:249-254.)

Nick Brown thinks that there would be between 300-400 tonnes of biomass per hectare in lowland Bornean rain forest which would crudely equate to 150-200 tonnes of carbon per hectare. If all of this is lost and very little new biomass accumulated then this would release 75 million tonnes of carbon per year, or one 20th of the global emissions from biomass clearing.

Why don't we see mongrel birds?
Philip Stott and Derek Moore explained that "mongrels" appear within a species, for example dogs. There are many species of bird and breeding between two of them is known as "hybridisation". This sometimes happen where birds are at the limits of their range and where man has altered habitat.
RSPB: the ruddy duck problem

Contamination of soil
Dr Chris Collins of Reading University advised anyone suspecting land to be contaminated to contact the Pollution Control Officer of the relevant local authority.
Environment Agency: land quality guidance documentation DEFRA: soil contamination info Contamlinks: resource library

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Home Planet
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