Chapter 14, Key Finding 3

Future research can address critical knowledge gaps and uncertainties related to inland water carbon fluxes. This chapter, for example, does not include methane emissions, which cannot be calculated as precisely as other carbon fluxes because of significant data gaps. Key to reducing uncertainties in estimated carbon fluxes is increased temporal resolution of carbon concentration and discharge sampling to provide better representations of storms and other extreme events for estimates of total inland water carbon fluxes. Improved spatial resolution of sampling also could potentially highlight anthropogenic influences on the quantity and quality of carbon fluxes in inland waters and provide information for land-use planning and management of water resources. Finally, uncertainties could likely be reduced if the community of scientists working in inland waters establishes and adopts standard measurement techniques and protocols similar to those maintained through collaborative efforts of the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project and relevant governmental agencies from participating nations.