Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

Dams Linked to Global Warming

Drawdowns release potent methane gas

Dams are the latest global warming culprits, according to researchers at Washington State University. The reservoirs created by dams are hotbeds for methane gas-producing life. When engineers lower water levels through drawdowns, methane release increases 20-fold. “Reservoirs have typically been looked at as a green energy source,” says Bridget Deemer, a doctoral student at Washington State University, Vancouver. “But their role in greenhouse gas emissions has been overlooked.” A 2011 study concluded that reservoir emissions could shave off a quarter of the terrestrial ecosystem’s ability to soak up greenhouse gas emissions. But by timing drawdowns for colder months, engineers might be able to limit the amount of methane released into the environment.

Via The Petri Dish

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News