New study suggests small natural ponds can speed up global warming.
According to researchers, ponds less than one square meter, absorb and store carbon dioxide and emit methane, a gas that can trap sun’s heat more effectively than carbon dioxide. The paper also suggests that these tiny natural ponds are accountable for about 40 percent of all methane emissions from inland waters.
“Our findings show that warming can fundamentally alter the carbon balance of small ponds over a number years,” lead researcher Gabriel Yvon-Durocher said.
The experiment, designed to measure the impact of global warming on bodies of water, ran for seven years. Scientists raised the temperatures of the ponds by 4-5 degrees Celsius over seven years and found that these ponds become less effective at taking in and storing carbon dioxide as temperatures increase, while methane emission doubled.
“This is the first experiment to investigate the long-term effects of warming in aquatic ecosystems,” Durocher said. “Given the substantial contribution small ponds make to the emission of greenhouse gases, it is vital to understand how they might respond to global warming.”
The research, titled “Long-Term Warming Amplifies Shifts In The Carbon Cycle Of Experimental Ponds,” was published in the journal Natural Climate Change.
According to Durocher, with soil, warming is lessened over time. “This accelerating effect in ponds, which could have serious impacts on climate change, is not currently accounted for in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models.”
Still, the burning of fossil fuel, forest denudation, pollution, and people’s apathy towards the environment remain the leading causes of global warming. As such, it is important that people become responsible for their actions. Nations should think about alternatives to fossil fuel to lessen carbon emissions. People should also start seriously considering recycling if we want to mitigate forest destruction and ultimately, global warming.