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USNA Professor Contributes to International Science Journal Article

Posted on: December 11, 2013 08:00 EST by Naval Academy Public Affairs

Naval Academy Oceanography Professor Peter Guth was one of a group of contributors to an academic paper recently published in a world-renowned weekly science journal.

“Nature” focuses on earth sciences, physics, chemistry and biology. It is considered one of the most prestigious journals in these areas of study. The criteria and peer review to be published in this journal are especially demanding.

The article, entitled “Estimating Global CO2 Emissions From Inland Waters,” describes research conducted on how much carbon comes out of the rivers and lakes of the world. The findings indicated that rivers transfer approximately seven times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than lakes and reservoirs combined

The research also identified global inland-water hotspots for carbon dioxide flux.

“It lets you know what quantities of carbon dioxide are coming from where,” said Guth.

Looking at the overall addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is important because it’s the gas that causes most global warming, Guth said.

Guth’s contribution was based on work he had done with topographic data sets. He agreed to process some his data to get numbers on drainage basins, how big they were and where they were. This data figured into the estimates of how much carbon was coming out of those areas, he said.

“It’s neat to be part of a large team, and having my little piece of that. It’s humbling in a way,” said Guth. “This study is one little bit to show where carbon is coming from.”

The article was submitted in January of 2013 and underwent a vigorous peer review process before being accepted for publication. It was published in the Nov. 21 edition of “Nature.”

The abstract for the article can be found at the journal’s website


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