Another unpleasant news for the ones that still believe that the climate is not going to change as bad as scientists predict. The reservoirs used for hydroelectric power emit carbon. Apparently, it emits very much. The whole nation of Canada can’t produce in a year as much greenhouse gasses as these reservoirs. They can produce up to a gigaton of carbon emissions in only one year.
Prior research has been made, since 2000, but the scientists only researched one kind of reservoir. Washington States University’s scientists gathered all the previous data and searched a bit harder. They investigated other types of reservoirs as well. Their study has a totally different and worse conclusion than the others made previously. The research is going to be published in Bioscience next week.
Any type of reservoir from flood control to power bring out 1.3% of the carbon emissions. This is a bigger number that the one researched previously. One of the most dangerous types of gas transmitted by these devices is methane.
Methane features a much bigger “potential” of pollution and changing the climate than CO2 has. The materials of which these reservoirs are made contribute to the greenhouse gasses that they emit. When the soil they are put on has no more oxygen, they start to grow microorganisms. The microorganisms breathe CO2 and make methane. These devices begin to fill themselves with microorganisms and start to have a nasty smell.
“We found that the estimates of methane emissions per area of reservoir are about 25 percent higher than previously thought, which we think is significant given the global boom in dam construction, which is currently underway,” said Bridget Deemer, the lead author.
It is a great time for this discovery to be made since the leaders of the world want to make a treaty for decarbonizing the global economy. This discovery is going to make them change their way of thinking and probably they will make this their primary focus.
Although the challenge is even bigger than anyone predicted it to be, the only way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions is by making aggressive cuts. Off course the reservoirs can’t all be shut down, but if some of them are, this could be a great first step.