Methane in rivers contribute more to global warming than nitrous oxide

   Jan 14, 3:15 pm

Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): Scientists investigating the role of streams and rivers in global climate change have suggested that the global warming potential of methane gas exceeds that of nitrous oxide (N2O).

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions have been the leading area of concern for scientists investigating the role of streams and rivers in global climate change for the past decade.

A potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide is produced in riverbed sediments through nitrification and denitrification. Efforts to understand the rate at which nitrous oxide diffuses through the water to the atmosphere have dominated the field, yet diffusion is not the only relevant mechanism nor is nitrous oxide the only relevant gas.

Now, observations by Baulch et al. suggest that the global warming potential of methane gas, which they measured bubbling up from several riverbeds, exceeds that of nitrous oxide.

Gases produced in river sediments can travel to the atmosphere by diffusing through the water column, escaping as bubbles, or through plant-facilitated transport.

The researchers measured methane and nitrous oxide concentrations in the water and in riverbed bubbles and measured bubble accumulation in surface bubble traps for four Ontario streams to sort out whether diffusion or ebullition is dominant for each gas.

They find that 10 to 80 percent of methane emissions are in the form of bubbles, while nitrous oxide emissions are almost completely through diffusion.

They also found that methane bubbles surpass diffused nitrous oxide in terms of global warming potential, which they suggest could warrant a rethinking of the importance of streams and rivers to global warming.

The research has been recently published in Journal of Geophysical Research- Biogeosciences (JGR-G). (ANI)

New 'game-changing' clot-removal tack better than drugs alone for stroke patients Apr 18, 11:39 am
Washington, Apr 18 (ANI): A new study has found that removal of the clot causing a severe stroke plus standard medication yields better long term outcomes in stroke patients than drug alone.
Full Story
Molecular mechanism that makes malaria parasites drug-resistant identified Apr 18, 11:14 am
Washington, Apr 18 (ANI): A team of researchers has made key malarial drug-resistance finding.
Full Story
Men compete over being 'most helpful' to women online Apr 17, 11:39 am
Washington, April 17 (ANI): Ladies! If you need any help online, men would be at your service, for a new study shows that males tend to compete with each other when it comes to being generous to women online.
Full Story
'Wishful thinking' can't take away negative realities of Facebook for users Apr 17, 10:35 am
Washington, Apr 17 (ANI): A new study has suggested that Facebook users with so-called optimistic bias think that they're less likely than other users to experience cyberbullying, depression and other negative social and psychological effects from using the site.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY