At Home in Nature

  (Agate, Colorado)
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More carbon dioxide than you thought!

The problem of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is encouraging a better look at how the systems of the Earth control the amount of carbon dioxide. 

The bad news: the amount of Carbon Dioxide sunk into land masses is less than anticipated, by perhaps more than 25% according to research by David Bastviken1, Lars J. Tranvik, John A. Downing, Patrick M. Crill and Alex Enrich-Prast in their Freshwater Methane Emissions Offset the Continental Carbon Sink, published in Science (Vol. 331 no. 6013 p. 50). 

According to the Doctors, “Inland waters (lakes, reservoirs, streams, and rivers) are often substantial methane (CH4) sources in the terrestrial landscape. They are, however, not yet well integrated in global greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets. Data from 474 freshwater ecosystems and the most recent global water area estimates indicate that freshwaters emit at least 103 teragrams of CH4 year?1, corresponding to 0.65 petagrams of C as carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents year?1, offsetting 25% of the estimated land carbon sink. Thus, the continental GHG sink may be considerably overestimated, and freshwaters need to be recognized as important in the global carbon cycle.”

The oceans remain the largest sink of carbon dioxide, but this is leading to an acidification of the waters and biospheric collapse
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