Rivers and streams release more greenhouse gas

Rivers and streams release carbon dioxide at a rate five times greater than the world’s lakes and reservoirs combined.

The global carbon dioxide evasion rate from rivers and streams was 1.8 billion tons of carbon per year, compared with the 0.32 billion tons from lakes and reservoirs.

The modelling tool tool used by researchers - called Coastal Segmentation and Related Catchments (COSCAT) - is a global database of water bodies, or catchments, that connect to oceans. This land-ocean connection is important for the movement of nutrients, greenhouse gases and metals in water systems.

The study provides new insights into how rivers and streams affect the global carbon cycle but emphasises that additional research is needed to determine the carbon dioxide evasion rate for inland waters in the northern hemisphere.

Read more at University of Waterloo