From the AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION and the “giant sucking sound” department:
Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide
WASHINGTON D.C. — Humans may be adding large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by using groundwater faster than it is replenished, according to new research. This process, known as groundwater depletion, releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has until now been overlooked by scientists in calculating carbon sources, according to the new study.
The study’s authors estimate groundwater depletion in the United States could be responsible for releasing 1.7 million metric tons (3.8 billion pounds) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year.
Based on these figures, groundwater depletion should rank among the top 20 sources of carbon emissions documented by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This would mean the carbon dioxide emitted…
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