Greenhouse gas emissions from ponds and ditches (Bachelor/Master)

Last changed: 09 August 2021

The aim of the project is to measure spatial and temporal variation in greenhouse gas emissions from ponds and/or ditches. This will help determine the contribution to landscape-scale greenhouse gas budgets and their contribution to climatic warming.

Inland waters (lakes, rivers, streams, reservoirs) emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and play a role in the global carbon cycle and climate system. Generally, emissions increase with decreasing waterbody size, and so small ponds and ditches often emit large volumes of greenhouse gases.

Many ponds are artificial in origin and have been constructed for various purposes such as ornamental use (e.g. in parks), stormwater management, and for wildlife. Similarly, ditches are also artificial in origin and are primarily created to drain land for agriculture and forestry.  Because these waterbodies are artificial, their emissions count as being human-derived and so must be included in IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) inventories. However, the 2019 IPCC refinement highlighted a lack of data from these small waterbodies.

This project will measure emissions of greenhouse gases (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide) from a range of ponds on campus at SLU Uppsala. Additional analyses of water chemistry and pond characteristics (vegetation, depth, area) will be taken to untangle the drivers of these emissions. There is also the opportunity to analyse a pre-existing dataset of greenhouse gas concentrations from ditches in lowland peatlands.


  • Main subject area: Environmental science or Chemistry
  • Level and length: basic level (Bachelor, 15 hp / 10 weeks) or advanced level (Master, 30 hp / 20 weeks or 60 hp / 40 weeks)