Carbon dioxide emissions along the Lower Amazon River

A large fraction of the organic carbon derived from land that is transported through inland waters is decomposed along river systems and emitted to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). The Amazon River outgasses nearly as much CO2 as the rainforest sequesters on an annual basis, representing ~25% of global CO2 emissions from inland waters. However, current estimates of CO2 outgassing from the Amazon basin are based on a conservative upscaling of measurements made in the central Amazon, meaning both basin and global scale budgets are likely underestimated.

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