Earth Science News  





. Ponds Found To Take Up Carbon Like World's Oceans

Algae and plants take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow and the carbon remains in the pond when the plants die.
by Staff Writers
Ames IA (SPX) May 13, 2008
Research led by Iowa State University limnologist, or lake scientist, John Downing finds that ponds around the globe could absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans. Professor Downing found that constructed ponds and lakes on farmland in the United States bury carbon at a much higher rate than expected; as much as 20-50 times the rate at which trees trap carbon. In addition, ponds were found to take up carbon at a higher rate than larger lakes.

"Aquatic ecosystems play a disproportionately large role in the global carbon budget," Downing said. "Despite being overlooked in the past, it's small bodies of water that are important because they take up carbon at a high rate and there are more of them than previously thought. The combined effect is that farm ponds could be burying as much carbon as the world's oceans, each year."

Ponds capture carbon in two main ways:

- Algae and plants take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow and the carbon remains in the pond when the plants die.

- Water run-off brings in carbon from surrounding farmland soil.

The research estimated there are 304 million natural lakes and ponds in the world, covering an area of 4.2 million square kilometers, twice the area previously thought. As many as 90 percent of these water bodies are one hectare (two acres) or less in area.

Downing's research team published its most recent findings in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles in a paper titled, "Sediment organic carbon burial in agriculturally eutrophic impoundments over the last century." The team included members from Europe, the United States and Canada. The work was sponsored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Downing has presented invited seminars on this research to the International Society of Limnology, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and at several major research institutions in North America and Europe.

Most recently, he was invited to discuss his research by the Pond Conservation, a charity in the United Kingdom dedicated to creating and protecting ponds and the wildlife they support. He spoke at University College London. An upcoming presentation is scheduled for the annual meeting of the European Pond Conservation Network in Valencia, Spain.

Jeremy Biggs, Pond Conservation director of policy and research, said the research has exciting implications. "It may be that ponds will be the modern equivalent of the swamps that formed coal in the past. But before we all rush into making ponds to trap carbon we need to do some basic research here in the UK. If the rate of carbon uptake in ponds in Europe is the same as that found in the USA study, we may well have discovered an important new natural way of trapping carbon," he said.

Downing's ongoing research, partnering with the United States Geological Survey, and his contributions to the Iowa Lakes Survey will investigate the role of small Iowa lakes in the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other important gases such as methane.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Iowa State University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Barcelona gets emergency water supplies by boat
Barcelona, Spain (AFP) May 13, 2008
A water tanker arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday as the capital of Spain's drought-stricken region of Catalonia began importing drinkable water by boat, regional authorities said.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • US has no plans for forced intervention in Myanmar
  • China says foreign aid offers 'welcome'
  • Low technology is the only hope in Myanmar, China disasters
  • UN says Myanmar forcing villagers to leave

  • NCAR Installs Supercomputer For Critical Research On Climate Change And Severe Weather
  • McCain splits with Bush on climate change
  • Key Climate Sensor Restored To NPOESS
  • Cleaner air to worsen droughts in Amazon: study

  • USGS Awards Satellite Imagery Contracts: Enhancing Access To Users
  • Bluesky Launches 3D Computer Models Of Britain's Cities
  • Cartosat 2a Puts The World In High Resolution For Indian Government
  • NASA Nasa Satellite Captures Image Of Cyclone Nargis Flooding In Myanmar

  • Pacific Natural Energy Creates a Step Up for the Little Guy: The BioBox Mini
  • Blue Sun Biodiesel Continues To Open Retail Fueling Locations
  • The Premiere Ocean Renewables Event - EnergyOcean 2008
  • Myanmar biofuel drive deepens food shortage

  • UN warns of 'second catastrophe' in Myanmar
  • Bacteria epidemic at Madrid hospital claimed 18 lives: report
  • China virus death toll hits 30 as number of infections soars
  • China urges authorities to step up education of deadly disease

  • Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed
  • Rainfall, rivers predict fish biodiversity
  • Platypus Genome Sequenced, Unlocking Secrets Of Evolution
  • What's Bugging Locusts. It Could Be They're Hungry - For Each Other

  • Cleaning Up The Oceans With Wakame Waste
  • Chinese leader seeks Japanese help on environment
  • Toxic ponds kill ducks in Canada
  • Researchers Look To Make Environmentally Friendly Plastics

  • Justice In The Brain: Equity And Efficiency Are Encoded Differently
  • Nearly One-Third Of US Parents Don't Know What To Expect Of Infants
  • Walker's World: Bye-bye boomers
  • United We Stand: When Cooperation Butts Heads With Competition

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement