If the methane production of reservoirs in the US are counted, the carbon absorption capacity of land may be reduced by one fourth.
We keep finding more feedbacks that enhance climate destabilization.
Washington State University researchers have documented an underappreciated suite of players in global warming: dams, the water reservoirs behind them, and surges of greenhouse gases as water levels go up and down.
"Reservoirs have typically been looked at as a green energy source," says Deemer. "But their role in greenhouse gas emissions has been overlooked."
A study published last year in the journal Science conservatively estimated that the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to act as carbon sinks, storing greenhouse gases, could be one-fourth less than estimated once emissions from reservoirs are considered.
In my Environmental Impact class we learned about dams and how they have a negative impact on the environment. Thanks for the article Ruth. I always enjoy learning and keeping up to date on the scientific studies.
In the end, it always comes back to the same frickin fact. It's not our technologies per se that are killing nature, it the sheer volume of humanity and its endless neediness. Electrical may or may not be the greenest of energies, even without fossil combustion, hydro-electricity has long been known to cause major plant physiology shifts and green house gas effects. But it's the process of comparative quantification that is a near impossible task.
They also kill fingerling salmon. Ten percent of the fingerling passing over the spillway die from a type of nitrogen narcosis (like the bends). The fish also become disoriented after going over the spillway making them easy targets for predatory birds. The Army Corps of Engineers tries to capture the fingerling at McNary Dam to ship them downstream past the remaining dams. So going over McNary, John Day, The Dalles and Bonneville spillways kill 65% of the fingerling. Fishscreens are in place to divert fish past the turbines into holding pens for later transfer into barges for shipment.