Scientists Find New Climate ‘Feedback Loop’ in Lakes

This article discusses a climate change feedback loop in climate change from the increase in aquatic plant life in the world’s lakes caused by warming temperatures.

Warming global temperatures have helped boost the growth of freshwater plants like cattails in the world’s lakes in recent decades. Now, scientists have found that this surge in aquatic plant growth could double the methane being emitted from lakes — already significant sources of methane — over the next 50 years.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, reveals a previously unknown climate feedback loop, where warming triggers the release of greenhouse gases, which in turn triggers more warming — similar to what is happening with Arctic’s melting permafrost. Freshwater lakes currently contribute as much as 16 percent of the world’s methane emissions, compared with just 1 percent from oceans.

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