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Methane Gas in Lakes

According to recent research published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, a change in plant composition in and around the Great Lakes (North America) could generate a high concentration of methane in the water, which would further accelerate climate change. The research, led by Dr. Andrew Tanentzap at the University of Cambridge, quantified the concentration of methane produced by the decomposition of conifer detritus, leaves from deciduous trees (which fall every year), and aquatic plants, discovering that methane release is much greater during the decomposition of aquatic plants. These plants are increasingly common in lakes, due to the destruction of forests and global warming, which generates the environmental conditions that favor their growth. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25% more harmful than carbon dioxide and its emissions could double in the next fifty years. It is therefore vitally important to develop research to help understand the methane cycle and correctly predict emissions and their effects as the climate changes.

www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/greenhouse-gas-feedback-loop-discovered-in-freshwater-lakes