SOURCE: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

SOURCE: November 16, 2017

SNIP: Humans may be adding large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by using groundwater faster than it is replenished, according to new research. This process, known as groundwater depletion, releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has until now been overlooked by scientists in calculating carbon sources, according to the new study.

Based on these figures, groundwater depletion should rank among the top 20 sources of carbon emissions documented by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“We were somewhat surprised that this hasn’t been accounted for in the literature and in the [EPA and IPCC] evaluations,” said David Hyndman, a hydrogeologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan and co-author of the new study accepted for publication in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.