How dry riverbeds contribute to climate change

Sydney, June 17: Dry riverbeds are contributing more carbon emissions than previously thought, says a study that could help scientists better understand how to fight climate change. “There is a substantial amount of plant litter that accumulates in dry riverbeds and when they flow again this material can break down rapidly. We’ve now estimated the potential short-term CO2 emissions during these rewetting events,” said Nathan Waltham from James Cook University in Australia. “We believe that a single pulse of CO2 emission upon litter rewetting contributes up to 10 per cent of the daily CO2 emission compared to perennial rivers and streams, particularly in temperate climates. “What this means is that the contributions of intermittent rivers and streams should be included in global carbon-cycling assessments,” Waltham added.
Intermittent rivers, as the name suggests, sometimes stop flowing and can dry completely. (IANS)