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Pond Warming Enhances Climate Change By Driving Out Carbon Dioxide: Study

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There are many sources for climate change. Among the channels, the role of ponds was not properly reckoned commensurate with the gravity of methane emissions coming from them.

A new study has revealed that rising temperatures that warm ponds do reduce the carbon dioxide stored and pumps up the emission of methane several folds.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter and the Queen Mary University of London.

The results of greenhouse gas emission showed an escalating trend over a seven-year period. The ponds' ability to absorb carbon dioxide was found reduced by half while methane emissions doubled.

After verifying the results of the warming of ponds for seven years, scientists found that a 4-5ºC hike in temperature "amplified" emissions.

The paper has been published in the Nature Climate Change.

About 4 percent of Earth's surface is covered by lakes and ponds which have a dominant role as emitters of methane into the atmosphere.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, methane comes from natural sources as well as human activities. The impact of methane on climate change is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide, EPA cautioned.

Greenhouse Gas Emitters

 "Given the substantial contribution small ponds make to the emission of greenhouse gasses, it is vital to understand how they might respond to global warming," said Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, the lead author who is associated with the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter.

Yvon-Durocher said the findings showed that the warming of ponds can upset the carbon balance over the years, and diminish the capacity of ponds to absorb carbon dioxide and trigger higher emissions of methane.

Ponds are a different case as the trends differ from what is seen on land, where initial effects of warming seem to diminish over a period of time.

The lead author wants a serious look on the accelerating effect in ponds in terms of the climate change models of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Also, ponds of less than 1 square meter are responsible for 40 percent of all methane emissions from inland waters.

Menacing Methane

Meanwhile, a leading conservation biologist, Guy McPherson has warned that a surge in methane emissions will lead to a catastrophe. He is a professor emeritus of the environment at the University of Arizona.

The author of "Going Dark" predicted that near-term extinction of many species can happen from such an event by the middle of 2026 and it will not exclude human beings.

Calling the phenomenon abrupt climate change or nonlinear climate change, he said the uncontrolled surge in greenhouse gas levels will lead to a shift in the climate system, which the natural systems or humans may not be able to adapt.

The expert noted that methane is 85 times more lethal as a heat-trapping gas compared with carbon dioxide and is getting stored as "clathrates" on the continental shelves of Arctic.

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