Indonesian fires have exacerbated global warming: research

New research confirms that forest fires which ravaged large parts of Indonesia five years ago contributed to global warming.

Scientists from Indonesia and Europe believe more than 2.5 million tonnes of carbon entered the atmosphere, contributing to the biggest annual increase in carbon emissions since records began.

The BBC reports they also found that most of it came from smouldering deposits of peat.

The forest fires of 1997 and 1998 were fuelled in part by a strong El Nino, creating ideal conditions for any spark to become a blaze.

Sparks were duly supplied by loggers, industrialists and subsistence farmers, and satellite data now showed that almost 1 million hectares of prime forest were burnt to the ground.

Underground are vast deposits of peat which smouldered for many months.

Plans to tackle global warming have to look at reducing this kind of greenhouse gas production as well as industrial sources.