Wood and Hyndman then conservatively assumed that half of the released bicarbonate is converted to atmospheric carbon dioxide.From this information, Hyndman and Wood estimated the U. releases approximately 1.7 million metric tons (3.8 billion pounds) of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere from groundwater depletion.This is more than the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the generation of electricity used to power 250,000 households in the United States each year.
This knowledge and technology underpins decisions to protect the soil resource. ► Increasing the SOC pool is also beneficial to secure soil fertility.
It’s just another factor involved that we need to consider,” said Warren Wood, a hydrogeologist at Michigan State University and co-author of the new study.
“This is an idea that a number of us have knocked around a little bit, but I think the approach here is really novel,” said Bill Simpkins, a hydrogeologist at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa who was not involved in the study.
Wood’s research has largely focused on the hydrogeology of arid areas, but he recalls suddenly coming up with the concept for the new study one morning after coffee. In the new study, Wood and Hyndman analyzed groundwater depletion and groundwater carbon chemistry data from the U. Geological Survey (USGS) to calculate how much carbon dioxide is likely transferred from groundwater to the atmosphere each year.
USGS scientists estimate that the United States annually depletes 25 square kilometers (9.7 square miles) of groundwater, which contains roughly 2.4 million metric tons (5.2 billion pounds) of bicarbonate.