The role of mountain streams in carbon cycle was recently assessed by some researchers.
About the study:
- Mountains cover 25 per cent of the Earth’s surface, and the streams draining these mountains account for more than a third of the global runoff.
- This was the first large-scale study regarding carbon dioxide emissions of mountain streams and the role they play in global carbon fluxes (the carbon exchanged between various carbon pools on Earth).
- Mountain streams have a higher average carbon dioxide emission rate per square metre than streams at lower altitudes, due in part to the additional turbulence caused as water flows down slopes.
- The mountain streams account for only 5% in the global surface area of fluvial networks. The likely share of mountain streams in carbon dioxide emissions from all fluvial networks is about 10% to 30%.
The findings appear to indicate that the carbon dioxide comes from geological sources. The result shows how important it is to include mountain streams in assessments of the global carbon cycle.