From: Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Published May 12, 2017 02:09 PM

In Measuring Gas Exchange Between Water and Air, Size Matters

Ponds and lakes play a significant role in the global carbon cycle, and are often net emitters of carbon gases to the atmosphere.  However, the rate at which gases move across the air-water boundary is not well quantified, particularly for small ponds.

A new Yale-led study evaluated how the size of ponds and lakes affects gas exchange rates, which may have implications for carbon emissions and global climate change. 
 
The study, appearing in the Journal of Geophysical Research — Biogeosciences, suggests that the size of water bodies can affect the rate at which greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, move from ponds and lakes into the atmosphere.
 
Although gas exchange in larger lakes can be predicted by wind speed, this relationship breaks down under low-wind conditions, such as in small ponds, said Meredith Holgerson ‘16 Ph.D., a recent graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and lead author of the study.

Read more at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Image: One of the ponds studied by researchers. In the foreground are the jugs they used to disperse propane in the ponds during the experiments. (Credit: Meredith Holgerson)

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