When it comes to greenhouse gases, methane is one the biggest contributors. Not only is it massively abundant — it’s about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

That makes tracking methane emissions critically important, and nowhere more so than in the Arctic, which is now the fastest warming part of the globe. A new study conducted at Brown University helps shed light on the actual atmospheric methane emissions from Arctic lakes and wetlands, which are major producers of the gas but remain largely unmapped.

Using unprecedented high-resolution satellite and airborne imagery from NASA — harnessing the technology to overcome barriers posed by the region’s sheer size and numerous natural land formations that are major methane producers — a pair of researchers produced new estimates and found that these unmapped lakes are not the great methane emitters that previous research has made them out to be. Instead of contributing about 40% of the region’s methane emissions, small unmapped lakes contribute only about 3%, according to the study. Read more at: Brown University

Source: ENN

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