Fjords emit more methane than all regions of the world’s oceans

(ORDO NEWS) — Climatologists have found that fjords emit a lot of methane into the atmosphere, as all the deep regions of the oceans usually produce.

The work was published in Limnology and Oceanography. This was announced on Monday by the press service of the Swedish Research Council (SRC).

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and a contributor to global warming. Climatologists believe that the increase in temperature is due to emissions of this gas. This forces scientists to seek and study all of its sources.

From 2009 to 2021, researchers measured methane concentrations in water and soil samples from a fjord in the Swedish city of Uddevala. They chose this bay, as a lot of organic remains of marine flora and fauna constantly accumulate at its bottom.

At the same time, its bottom waters contain almost no oxygen. All this creates ideal conditions for the reproduction of microbes that decompose organic matter and emit greenhouse gases.

The measurements showed that the concentration of methane in the upper layers of the soil at the bottom of the fjord and the lower layers of the water was high, and 30-80% of the gases reached the sea surface. The scientists also found that emissions doubled during a storm that mixed the upper and lower layers of the waters.

“Methane is traditionally thought to be actively formed in the upper layers of sediments at the bottom of the fjords, but most of its molecules must decompose on their way to the sea surface.

Our measurements showed that this is not the case – in fact, the fjords are one of the largest sources of methane emissions into the atmosphere,” said Stefano Bonaglia, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), quoted by the SRC press service.

The results showed that each square meter of fjords annually emits about four grams of methane into the atmosphere. This means that all the fjords produce 1.8 million tons. So much produce all the deep-sea regions of the oceans combined.

The researchers believe that the fjords will produce more and more greenhouse gases as neighboring coastal waters warm.


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