Scientists suggested global warming could progress faster than was previously believed because increased temperatures influence natural greenhouse gas emissions.
Numerous studies from the Swedish research team over the past two years have determined that natural greenhouse gas emissions will increase when the climate gets warmer, Linköping University reported. Now, their most recent study has backed up these findings.
"Everything indicates that global warming caused by humans leads to increased natural greenhouse gas emissions. Our detailed measurements reveal a clear pattern of greater methane emissions from lakes at higher temperatures," said Sivakiruthika Natchimuthu, doctoral student at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden, and lead author of the latest publication on this topic from her group.
The team of researchers looked at the methane emissions from three lakes. They found these methane emissions increased significantly with temperature. Temperature increases from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius nearly doubled the methane emissions released by the lake. The findings suggest we have a "vicious circle" ahead of us in which the burning of fossil fuels leads to higher temperatures, which in turn trigger higher levels of methane release and further warming.
"We're not talking about hypotheses anymore. The evidence is growing and the results of the detailed studies are surprisingly clear. [DB1] The question is no longer if the natural emissions will increase but rather how much they will increase with warming," said David Bastviken, professor at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University.
The findings were published in a recent edition of the journal Limnology and Oceanography.