Methane-a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide-plays a major role in controlling the Earth’s climate. But methane concentrations in the atmosphere today are 150% higher than before the industrial revolution. In our paper published today in Nature Geoscience, we show as much as half of global methane emissions come from aquatic ecosystems. This includes natural, human-created and human-impacted aquatic ecosystems-from flooded rice paddies and aquaculture ponds to wetlands, lakes and salt marshes. Our findings are significant. Scientists had previously underestimated this global methane contribution due to underaccounting human-created and human-impacted aquatic ecosystems.
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