Lakes a big source of climate-warming gas: study


2011-01-06 Scientific American, Reuters, Science
Lakes and rivers emit far more of a powerful greenhouse gas than previously thought, counteracting the overall role of nature in soaking up climate-warming gases, a study showed on Thursday.

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

Lake Methane

UAF researcher Katey Walter lights a pocket of methane on a thermokarst lake in Siberia in March of 2007. Igniting the gas is a way to demonstrate, in the field, that it contains methane. (Credit: Photo by Sergey Zimov)

OSLO (Reuters) – Lakes and rivers emit far more of a powerful greenhouse gas than previously thought, counteracting the overall role of nature in soaking up climate-warming gases, a study showed on Thursday.

A review of 474 freshwater systems indicated they emitted methane equivalent to 25 percent of all carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas blamed for stoking climate change — absorbed by the world’s land areas every year.

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