Wildfire
Representational picture Twitter grab

A massive wildfire in May doubled Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions for the six days it burnt, a study has estimated.

About 5,700 hectares of blanket bog in the Flow Country, which stretches across Caithness and Sutherland, was affected, the BBC reported on Monday citing the WWF Scotland study as saying.

The study claimed that 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent was released into the atmosphere as a result.

That is similar to the amount released across the rest of Scotland.

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, contribute to climate warming and are released by many activities such as energy supply, industrial processes, transport, heating and agriculture.

The Flow Country, home to the largest continuous peatbog in Europe, is estimated to hold almost 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

The study called for more government investment to protect and improve peat bogs.

Head of policy Gina Hanrahan said: "This analysis puts into stark figures the importance of our peatlands and the huge cost to climate and nature when something goes wrong."

A long-term project is being carried out in the Flow Country to estimate the ecological impact of the fire.

Measurements gathered before the fire give researchers a unique data set for understanding the way vegetation and water quality has changed.