Knight of the climate

Raija Laiho, coordinator (SNS-120: Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas emissions from organic forest soils: improved inventories and implications for sustainable management)


SNS Nordic Forest ResearchEducation/job: Doctor of Agricultural and Forest Sciences from the University of Helsinki; Research professor at LUKE with a focus on peatland forests.
Age: 54.
Location: Apartment in Helsinki, Finland, in the Niemenmäki area.
Hobby: Gardening.
Last read book: A collection of Scottish folklore.


Trustworthy data necessary for the future


The warming climate is worrying for the whole globe. The SNS researcher Raija Laiho and her group are contributing to solve the problem with greenhouse gas emissions.


To handle the emissions of greenhouse gases, we need to have facts. Where do they derive from and what releases them into the atmosphere?

About 98% of the emissions from organic forest soils are reported in Nordic and Baltic countries. But the uncertainties in the inventory methods heavily affect the knowledge we have. That is why Raija Laiho is trying to make accurate inventories and to get as much knowledge as possible about the peatlands in these countries.

– Our hypotheses are that emissions depend on several measurable site and climate characteristics, and it is possible to develop dynamic emission factors based on those.

Peatland forestry
She wants to increase our understanding of the peatland ecosystem structure and functioning, and evaluate and improve the sustainability of peatland forestry. With better knowledge, we can manage the forestry on the peatlands in a better way to reduce emissions.

She is the right person to do so, at least if passion is an important ingredient to make a good researcher.

– Peatlands are such complex, fascinating systems that never cease to surprise – they often reveal patterns and process outcomes that are totally different from your well-based hypotheses!

Ask for patience
Research is important to let us understand a little bit more of the complex nature we depend on. There is a need for politicians to be patient and to trust in research.

– It is not researchers always wanting more money for their work, it is researchers understanding the limits of our knowledge and wanting to go beyond.


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Do you want to tell about your research?

Email me or call:
Katarina Ekegren
+46 739 75 13 03

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