Quantifying peatland land use and CO2 emissions in Irish raised bogs: mapping insights using Sentinel-2 data and Google Earth Engine

Wahaj Habib*, Ruchita Ingle, Matthew Saunders, John Connolly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ireland has > 50% of the EU’s ocean-raised bogs; however, degradation through land-use activities has transformed them from carbon (C) sinks to sources. Given their significant role in climate mitigation, it is essential to quantify the emissions resulting from land use degradation of these ecosystems. A seven-class land-use classification system for Irish peatlands (LUCIP) was developed and mapped using Sentinel-2 imagery, random forest machine learning and Google Earth Engine. The results revealed that agricultural grassland comprised 43% of the land use on raised bogs, followed by, forestry (21%), cutover (11%), cutaway (10%) remnant peatlands (13%), waterbodies and built-up ~ 1% each. The overall accuracy of the map was 89%. The map was used to estimate CO2 emissions for four classes constituting 85% of raised bogs: cutover, cutaway, grassland, and forestry using the IPCC wetlands supplement and literature-based emission factors, we estimated emissions at ~ 1.92 (± 1.58–2.27 Mt CO2-C-yr−1) and ~ 0.68 Mt CO2-C-yr−1 (± 0.44–0.91 Mt CO2-C-yr−1) respectively. This is the first study to spatially quantify land use and related emissions from raised bogs. The results have revealed widespread degradation of these globally rare habitats, making them net emitters of CO2. The map is vital for the conservation of these ecosystems through restoration efforts, and the methodology can also be applied to other regions with similar peatland land use issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1171
JournalScientific Reports
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying peatland land use and CO2 emissions in Irish raised bogs: mapping insights using Sentinel-2 data and Google Earth Engine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this