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Significant increase in freshwater lakes methane production predicted

last modified May 08, 2018 03:57 PM
Dr Andrew Tanentzap's research group at the Department of Plant Sciences, along with colleagues from Germany and Canada, have discovered that methane emissions from lakes in the northern hemisphere could almost double over the next 50 years because of a novel "feedback loop".

"The warming climates that promote the growth of aquatic plants have the potential to trigger a damaging feedback loop in natural ecosystems," says Dr. Andrew Tanentzap. 

Vegetation in and around water bodies continues to change, while forest cover decreases and wetlands thrive as a result of global warming. Freshwater lakes in the northern hemisphere are already a significant source of methane, and the recent study funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council and published last week in the journal Nature Communications, shows that they could almost double their emissions in the next fifty years.

The study has created a lot of media interest and has been featured in BBC news, Science Daily and European Scientist. You can read the full press release on the University of Cambridge website here. Dr. Andrew Tanentzap is the Head of the Ecosystems and Global Change research group at the Department of Plant Sciences.