In an ever-warming world, with climate change and pollution affecting the environment, specialists suggest yet another man-made installation which contributes to the phenomenon. A new study shows that reservoirs behind dams are to blame for greenhouse gas emissions. This means that specialists need to revise their strategy to stop greenhouse gas emissions, as they have to deal with a new source.
The new study was conducted by experts at the Washington State University. According to them, water reservoirs behind dams are not as eco-friendly as they were supposed to be. It seems like hydro energy doesn’t only have advantages, but disadvantages too, as it increases the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
The study shows that greenhouse gasses produced by man-made reservoirs account for 1.3 to 1.5 percent of the pollutant in the atmosphere. Two of the main gasses released by the water facilities are carbon dioxide and methane.
The team of researchers studies previous reports and surveys dating from the early 2000s. What they observed is that it is modern reservoirs those which pollute the most. It seems that modern technology worked against humans in this case because it caused more greenhouse gas emissions than traditional facilities. Statistics show that recently built reservoirs increased the level of methane gas in the air by twenty-five percent.
Specialists explain that methane doesn’t last in the atmosphere for long. However, releasing it is dangerous because it emanates heat. Even if the process is short, the consequences can be massive.
Scientists took into consideration reservoirs built for different purposes. Hydro energy is just one of them. Other reservoirs could be used in agriculture for irrigation, or flood control. More than two hundred fifty reservoirs were studied for this research. However, regardless of their function, they all release gasses into the atmosphere which contribute to both air pollution and global warming.
The authors of the study state that they are not against hydro energy and reservoirs. Their study only shows implications of this technology that developers must take this into consideration. As there seems to be a higher level of greenhouse gas emissions, solutions dealing adequately with the problem are required.
Another study from WHO raises the problem of air pollution which can be threatening to people’s health in large areas of the world.
The new study will be published in BioScience. The main authors are Bridget Deemer and John Harrison.
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