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Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoir water surfaces: A new global synthesis
Deemer, B., J. Harrison, J. Beaulieu, T. DelSontro, N. Barros, N. Neto, S. Powers, M. dos Santos, A. Vonk, AND S. Li. Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoir water surfaces: A new global synthesis. To be Presented at Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research, Montreal, CANADA, January 05 - 08, 2017.
To inform the public.
Collectively, reservoirs created by dams are thought to be an important source ofgreenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. So far, efforts to quantify, model, andmanage these emissions have been limited by data availability and inconsistenciesin methodological approach. Here we synthesize worldwide reservoir methane,carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide emission data with three main objectives: (1) togenerate a global estimate of GHG emissions from reservoirs, (2) to identify the bestpredictors of these emissions, and (3) to consider the effect of methodology onemission estimates. We estimate that GHG emission from reservoir water surfacesaccount for 0.8 (0.5-1.2) Pg CO2-equivalents per year, equal to ~1.3 % of allanthropogenic GHG emissions, with the majority (79%) of this forcing due tomethane. We also discuss the potential for several alternative pathways such as damdegassing and downstream emissions to contribute significantly to overall GHGemissions. Although prior studies have linked reservoir GHG emissions to systemage and latitude, we find that factors related to reservoir productivity are betterpredictors of emission. Finally, as methane contributed the most to total reservoirGHG emissions, it is important that future monitoring campaigns incorporatemethane emission pathways, especially ebullition.