Cross continental increase in methane ebullition under climate change

Ralf C.H. Aben, Nathan Barros, Ellen Van Donk, Thijs Frenken, Sabine Hilt, Garabet Kazanjian, Leon P.M. Lamers, Edwin T.H.M. Peeters, Jan G.M. Roelofs, Lisette N. De Senerpont Domis, Susanne Stephan, Mandy Velthuis, Dedmer B. Van De Waal, Martin Wik, Brett F. Thornton, Jeremy Wilkinson, Tonya Delsontro, Sarian Kosten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Methane (CH4) strongly contributes to observed global warming. As natural CH4 emissions mainly originate from wet ecosystems, it is important to unravel how climate change may affect these emissions. This is especially true for ebullition (bubble flux from sediments), a pathway that has long been underestimated but generally dominates emissions. Here we show a remarkably strong relationship between CH4 ebullition and temperature across a wide range of freshwater ecosystems on different continents using multi-seasonal CH4 ebullition data from the literature. As these temperature-ebullition relationships may have been affected by seasonal variation in organic matter availability, we also conducted a controlled year-round mesocosm experiment. Here 4 °C warming led to 51% higher total annual CH4 ebullition, while diffusion was not affected. Our combined findings suggest that global warming will strongly enhance freshwater CH4 emissions through a disproportional increase in ebullition (6-20% per 1 °C increase), contributing to global warming.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1682
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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    Aben, R. C. H., Barros, N., Van Donk, E., Frenken, T., Hilt, S., Kazanjian, G., ... Kosten, S. (2017). Cross continental increase in methane ebullition under climate change. Nature Communications, 8(1), [1682]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01535-y