Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Unit 1 Blog: Peat Fires
I was reading an article in the Russian Life magazine, and I was reading and interesting article in the Trends section about the peat fires that occur in the spring time in Russia. In the article is was talking about how the people living and central Russia and "Muscovites" were greatly affected last summer by peat fires and how these people are worried that they may encounter the same issues this coming up summer season because they don't see things being done to try and prevent them. I did some research on peat fires to find that they are burning accumulations of decayed vegetation that is ignited by some heat source whether it be a wild fire or heat from the under-layers of the earth because of the fact that it smolders instead of burns. This, I found is due to the vegetation having a high carbon content because of the fact that its decaying. When doing my research I found it interesting that in the 1920's it was used as a source of energy in and in 1929, 40 percent of electrical energy was produced with the use of the peat fires but over time, when there was a realization of negative effects, it dropped significantly to less that 1 percent in 80's. Because of the high carbon content, the burning of the peat fires emits carbon dioxide which ultimately has very negative effects on our environment; affecting things like agriculture, and fresh water environments. The government is being pressured to do something about it for fear that when the ice melts in the spring time, that conditions caused by the peat fires will be unbearable. People are wanting the government to either the flood the land in order to put out the fires (fires sustained mostly under low moisture in the environment) or to remove any brush or "decaying vegetation" that could potentially fuel the fires. I thought this article and the other information I read was interesting because it shows some of the environmental concerns that the Russians have in their cities and how they feel it is necessary to try and go about solving the issues at hand.