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Prediction of blanket peat erosion across Great Britain under environmental change

Li, Pengfei, Holden, Joseph, Irvine, Brian
Climatic change 2016 v.134 no.1-2 pp. 177-191
climate change, data collection, land management, models, peat, peatlands, prediction, sediment yield, summer, temperature, England
A recently developed fluvial erosion model for blanket peatlands, PESERA-PEAT, was applied at ten sites across Great Britain to predict the response of blanket peat erosion to environmental change. Climate change to 2099 was derived from seven UKCP09 future projections and the UK Met Office’s historical dataset. Land management scenarios were established based on outputs from earlier published investigations. Modelling results suggested that as climate changes, the response of blanket peat erosion will be spatially very variable across Great Britain. Both relative changes and absolute values of sediment yield were predicted to be higher in southern and eastern areas than in western and northern parts of Great Britain, peaking in the North York Moors of eastern England. Areas with high precipitation and low temperature were predicted to have low relative erosion changes and absolute sediment yield. The model suggested that summer desiccation may become more important for blanket peat erosion under future climate change, and that temperature was more dominant than precipitation in controlling long-term blanket peat erosion change. However, in the North York Moors, precipitation appeared to be more dominant in driving long-term erosion change. Land management measures were shown to provide a means to mitigate against the impacts of climate change on blanket peat erosion.