by Ufz, Mau 1, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Inland waters such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs play an important role in the global carbon cycle.
Calculations that scale up the carbon dioxide emissions from land and water surface areas do not take account of inland waters that dry out intermittently.
This means that the actual emissions from inland waters have been significantly underestimated—as shown by the results of a recent international research project led by scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Magdeburg and the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA).
The study was published in Nature Communications.
“The interaction of local conditions like temperature, moisture, and the organic matter content of the sediments is crucial, and it has a bigger influence than regional climate conditions,” Keller explains.
So what do the results of the study mean for the future assessment of carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters? “Our study shows that carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters have been significantly underestimated up until now,” says Koschorreck.