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RIVEr emissions of greenhouse gases from warming landSCAPEs

Descripción del proyecto

Las repercusiones de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero de los ríos en el cambio climático

Los científicos aún no pueden cuantificar cómo afectarán las emisiones de CH4 y CO2 al futuro calentamiento climático. El proyecto RIV-ESCAPE, financiado con fondos europeos, combinará el flujo de CH4 y CO2 de los ríos, la dinámica del caudal de los ríos y el suministro de carbono (C) con una resolución de minutos a horas a escala estacional. Los investigadores se centrarán en los ríos del Ártico que padecen un fuerte calentamiento y contienen grandes almacenamientos de C antiguo en el suelo. RIV-ESCAPE también aplicará la geoquímica de isótopos en los gases de los ríos, sus aguas y sus sedimentos para cuantificar los controles sobre la edad y la fuente de CO2 y CH4 en ríos de todo el mundo. Los resultados ayudarán a determinar la sensibilidad de las emisiones de CH4 y CO2 de los ríos ante el calentamiento futuro.


Rivers around the world release large quantities of greenhouse gas, with an estimated 1.8 ± 0.3 PgC yr-1 released as carbon dioxide (CO2), and ~20-25 TgC yr-1 as methane (CH4). These fluxes are equivalent to half of the annual increase in CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activities. However, we cannot yet quantify how river CO2 and CH4 emissions will change, nor assess their potential to amplify future climate warming. There are two main challenges: i) the main drivers of CO2 and CH4 release from rivers (supply of carbon and the dynamics of river flow) change simultaneously, and their relative importance is obscured in existing data, limiting our ability to build and test predictive models; ii) the age of river CO2 and CH4 is poorly constrained, meaning that we cannot determine whether this is anthropogenic carbon that is leaking out from prior storage on land, or whether it derives from ancient carbon stores in the landscape.

RIV-ESCAPE will transform our understanding by recognising the need for direct measurements that combine river CO2 and CH4 flux, river flow dynamics and C supply at high temporal resolution (minutes to hours) over seasonal timescales, across nested scales in river catchments. Such novel field installations could be used anywhere to improve our understanding: we will focus on Arctic rivers that are experiencing pronounced warming and hold large stores of ancient carbon in soils. In parallel, we will use cutting-edge isotope geochemistry methods for river gases, waters and sediments to quantify the controls on the age and source of CO2 and CH4 in rivers around the world. The new empirical data will combine with physical and numerical experiments to provide a step-change in our knowledge of how changes in temperature and precipitation set river greenhouse gas source and the rate of release, allowing us to assess for the first time the sensitivity of river CO2 and CH4 emissions to future warming.

Régimen de financiación

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant


Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 2 189 855,00
Wellington square university offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Reino Unido

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South East (England) Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Oxfordshire
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Otras fuentes de financiación
€ 0,00

Beneficiarios (3)