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The methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are explosion craters, model predicts

The methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are explosion craters, model predicts

Science
Sept. 9 (UPI) -- According to a new model developed by planetary scientists in Italy and the United States, many of the methane-filled lakes on Titan were likely formed after explosions of warming nitrogen left dozens of empty craters dotting the surface of Saturn's largest moon. Outside of Earth, Titan is the only planetary body in the solar system known to host stable liquid on its surface. While Earth hosts bodies of water, Titan's lakes are filled with liquid methane and ethane. On Earth, methane and ethane typically exist in gas form, but subzero temperatures on Titan allow the hydrocarbons to exist in liquid form. Previous models suggested Titan's lakes were formed over thousands of years as the liquid methane and ethane precipitated by Titan's clouds dissolving the moon's bedrock ...
As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

Science
May 22 (UPI) -- As Earth's temperatures continue to rise, freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic are becoming unusually warm -- too warm for many native species. According to a report, the trend could cause regional extinctions, resulting in a tremendous loss of biodiversity in Arctic lakes and rivers. The recently published Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report, a product of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, CBMP, suggests Arctic species are running out of Arctic habitat. "The findings of the report are alarming. Global warming is reducing the area of the region that can be considered as Arctic," Danny Chun Pong Lau, an ecologist at Umeå University in Sweden, said in a news release. "The consequence is that southern species move northwards and cold tolerant species face poss
Lakes 'skating on thin ice' as warming limits freeze

Lakes 'skating on thin ice' as warming limits freeze

Science
Thousands of lakes across the Northern Hemisphere are set to lose their winter ice as global temperatures rise, say scientists.Their new study suggests that, within a generation, over 35,000 lakes will lose their winter cover. The researchers involved say the disappearance will have significant implications for millions of people living near these bodies of water.It could also pose a threat to supplies of drinking water and to fish species.Right now some 15,000 lakes in Canada, the US and northern parts of Europe experience intermittent ice cover during the winter months. This means that they freeze in the colder winters but remain ice free when winters are warmer. This is already posing problem...
New climate 'feedback loop' discovered in freshwater lakes

New climate 'feedback loop' discovered in freshwater lakes

Science
Methane emissions from lakes in the northern hemisphere could almost double over the next 50 years because of a novel "feedback loop" say scientists. Climate change is boosting the proportion of cattail plants growing in and around freshwater lakes they say. But when debris from these reed beds falls in the water it triggers a major increase in the amount of methane produced. The gas is at least 25 times more warming than CO₂ in the atmosphere.Freshwater lakes play an important but relatively unrecognised role in the global carbon cycle, contributing around 16% of the Earth's natural emissions of methane - compared to just 1% from all the world's oceans. The gas is produced by microbes in the sediment at the bottom of lakes who consume organic matter that falls into the water from plants a
Isolated lakes found beneath Canadian ice sheet

Isolated lakes found beneath Canadian ice sheet

Science
Researchers have found lakes that may shed new light on icy worlds in our Solar System.High in the Canadian Arctic, two subglacial bodies of water have been spotted beneath over 500 metres of ice.The water has an estimated maximum temperature of -10.5C, and would need to be very salty to avoid freezing.There are thought to be similar cold, saline conditions in the subsurface ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa, yet also the potential to host life.The findings, from a team led by the University of Alberta, have been published in Science Advances.A Canadian firstThe two lakes appeared in a radar survey of the Devon Ice Cap, which sits on Devon Island, in Canada's northern Nunavut territory."I was super surprised, and a little bit puzzled," Anja Rutishauser, the study's lead author, said of the di...