Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ponds can absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans

A new research has revealed that ponds around the globe absorbs as much carbon as the world's oceans. The research, led by Iowa State University lake scientist, John 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. According to Downing, aquatic ecosystems play a disproportionately large role in the global carbon budget. 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, he said. Ponds capture carbon in two main ways: 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 per cent of these water bodies are one hectare (two acres) or less in area.

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