Warming rivers make marked contribution to global greenhouse gas levels

Warming streams and rivers could be disproportionately contributing to the amount of planet-warming greenhouse gases, according to a new study led by PhD students, Sophie Comer-Warner and Paul Romeijn.

Publishing findings in Nature Communications, their comparison of potential greenhouse gas emissions from UK streambed sediments shows that sensitivity to temperature varies with geology, organic matter and sediment size.

Co-lead researcher Sophie Comer-Warner said: "Our findings highlight the substantial risk of future greenhouse gas emissions from warming rivers, especially those which are small but have high organic matter concentrations.”

Co-lead author Paul Romeijn commented: "If we are serious about reducing future emissions from rivers under climate warming, land management attention needs to focus on reducing sediment rich in organic matter content, and decreasing groundwater abstraction."

Find out more

Read the full article from EurekAlert! 

Read the full paper 'Thermal sensitivity of CO2 and CH4 emissions varies with streambed sediment properties'