Lots of carbon dioxide equivalents from aquatic environments

Mar 24, 2014

Large amounts of carbon dioxide equivalents taken up by plants on land are returned to the atmosphere from aquatic environments. This is the conclusions from a study carried out by two students at Linköping University, Sweden.

As students at the Master program Science for Sustainable Development in Linköping, Bala Panneer Selvam and Sivakiruthika Natchimuthu, did a thorough investigation of from many types of in India under supervision by Dr Lakshmanan Arunachalam, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, and Dr David Bastviken, Linköping University, Sweden.

The findings were that emissions of (as methane and carbon dioxide) from lakes, running water, dams, ponds, and wells correspond to on an average 42 % of the expected natural carbon sink in India. This carbon sink may therefore be smaller than expected, illustrating that we do not have full knowledge on the natural greenhouse gas balance.

Hence, it may be better to try to reduce fossil carbon emissions rather than hoping that natural environments have a large capacity to take up emitted carbon. Methane accounted for 71% of the emitted aquatic CO2 equivalents and this opens a way to reduce these emissions by reducing the water pollution in terms of nutrients and organic material.

It is important to realize these findings are not specific for India – all countries should consider aquatic emissions in their greenhouse gas balances. This also illustrates how student projects can contribute to science.

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

More information: The study was recently published in the scientific journal Global Change Biology, with the title: Methane and carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters in India - Implications for large scale greenhouse gas balances.

Related Stories

Arctic inland waters emit large amounts of carbon

Jan 23, 2014

Geoscientist Erik Lundin shows in his thesis that streams and lakes of Northern Sweden are hotspots for emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Erik defends his findings at Sweden's Umea ...

How methane becomes fish food

Aug 27, 2012

Methane is an organic carbon compound containing the fundamental building block of nearly all living material: carbon. It provides an important source of energy and nutrients for bacteria. Methane is produced in oxygen-free ...

Global warming in the Canadian Arctic

Nov 18, 2013

Ph.D. student Karita Negandhi and professor Isabelle Laurion from INRS'Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre, in collaboration with other Canadian, U.S., and French researchers, have been studying methane emissions produced ...

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

Jul 03, 2015

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

Jul 03, 2015

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

Jul 03, 2015

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.