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A new global warming culprit: Dam drawdowns
Date:8/7/2012

he research could lead to different ways of managing drawdowns, he says, as emissions may be higher in summer months, when warmer temperatures and low oxygen conditions in bottom waters stimulate the microbial activity that produces greenhouse gases.

"We have the ability to manage the timing, magnitude and speed of reservoir drawdowns, which all could play a role in how much methane gets released to the atmosphere," Harrison says.

Managers can also consider the optimal time to take out a dam, Deemer says. While a dam removal may lead to some greenhouse gas emissions initially, she says it will be a one-time occurrence, while emissions can recur with regular drawdowns. The ability of soils and plants to store greenhouse gases could also make reservoir decommissioning a net sink, she says, but researchers "simply don't know at this point."

With Army Corps of Engineers funding, Deemer now plans to look at three other reservoirs in Oregon and northern California's Klamath basin.


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Contact: Eric Sorensen
eric.sorensen@wsu.edu
206-799-9186
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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