Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Role of mountain streams in carbon cycle

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Role of mountain streams in carbon cycle


  • The role of mountain streams in carbon cycle was recently assessed by some researchers.
  • It was found that Mountain streams emit a surprising amount of carbon dioxide

Mountain streams

  • Mountains cover 25 per cent of the Earth’s surface, and the streams draining these mountains account for more than a third of the global runoff.
  • Researchers have found that mountain streams have a higher average carbon dioxide emission rate per square metre than streams at lower altitudes.
  • This is due in part to the additional turbulence caused as water flows down slopes.

Significance in carbon cycle

  • Researchers found that mountain streams have a higher average CO2 emission rate per square meter than streams at lower altitudes.
  • So even though these streams make up just 5% of the global surface area of the fluvial networks, they likely account for 10% to 30% of CO2 emissions from these networks.
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