Northern peatlands span only 3 million square kilometers, about 3% of the terrestrial area of the globe, yet they represent a significant terrestrial sink for carbon dioxide. They are also important emitters of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas. Despite their substantial role in the global carbon cycle, peatlands are not typically incorporated into global climate models. The AGU Monograph Carbon Cycling in Northern Peatlands, edited by Andrew J. Baird, Lisa R. Belyea, Xavier Comas, A. S. Reeve, and Lee D. Slater, looks at the disproportionate role peatlands play in the global carbon budget. In this interview, Eos talks with Andy Baird, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.