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)

DNA reveals Neanderthals first mated with humans 50,000 years ago Oct 23, 2:20 pm
Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): A new study has examined the 45,000-year-old DNA from a Siberian man that has demonstrated that Neanderthals and humans first mated 50,000 years ago.
Full Story
How brain remains stable during learning process Oct 23, 1:46 pm
Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): A new mathematical model has provided scientists with a deeper insight into how brain remains stable during the learning process.
Full Story
Skin patches may soon succeed syringes to diagnose diseases Oct 23, 12:41 pm
Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): Scientists have been working on creating skin patches, which would be less painful alternative for disease diagnosis and could one day replace the syringes.
Full Story
Soon, fuel from waste of 'whisky-making' to be reality Oct 23, 12:41 pm
Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): Researchers have been working to turn the waste from whisky-making into fuel and ultimately planning to make it a commercial reality, it has been reported.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY