Streams may emit more carbon dioxide in a warmer climate

ScienceDaily | 5/23/2018 | Staff
crazycool12crazycool12 (Posted by) Level 4
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To reach that conclusion, an international research team conducted the first continental-scale study of carbon flows into and out of streams across six major climatic zones. They collected data in watersheds from Puerto Rico and Oregon to Australia and Alaska. In each one, scientists analyzed the balance between photosynthesis -- which uses atmospheric CO2 to generate plant material such as roots and leaves -- and respiration, which pumps CO2 back into the air.

The scientists published their results this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Issue - World - Rivers - Exchange - Carbon

The issue is important because the world's rivers and streams exchange carbon with the atmosphere at rates that are comparable with land-based ecosystems and the oceans. If global warming continues, an increase in stream-based carbon emissions could add to the concentration of heat-trapping CO2 in the atmosphere.

"This paper is the first to look at the effects of climate change on stream metabolism at the continental scale using field observations," said Alba Argerich, co-author who monitored McRae Creek and Lookout Creek in the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest east of Eugene, Oregon. "This approach takes into consideration the complexity of an ecosystem, as opposed to controlled experiments where you recreate simplified versions of an ecosystem."

Argerich - Scientists - Streams - Water - Temperature

Argerich and other scientists monitored streams for water temperature, dissolved oxygen and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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