From where we stand, it seems that, as researchers in the field of environmental sciences carry on with their investigations concerning climate change, more and more underlying causes of global warming are brought under the spotlight.
Thus, a report recently made public by specialists working with the Washington State University-Vancouver argues that dam drawdowns act as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, therefore contributing to increasing average temperatures worldwide.
informs us that Bridget Deemer, a doctoral student at said university, took it to herself to measure the amount of gases which found themselves dissolved in the water column of Lacamas Lake, Clark County, and reached the conclusion that, whenever the water level was brought down, methane emissions increased considerably: 20-fold the usual levels.
One of her colleagues, Maria Glavin, took similar measurements for the bubbles rising from the mud at the bottom of the lake, and her final calculations indicated a 36-fold boost in methane emissions during drawdowns.
As we have already discussed
, methane is a chemical compound which can cause significant atmospheric imbalance as far as phenomena such as climate change and global warming are concerned, primarily due to the fact that its effects are similar to that of CO2, yet considerably more prominent.
With 80,000 dams presently up and running in the US alone, it comes only natural that researchers might want to discuss this newly found issue in further details.
For the time being, Bridget Deemer and Maria Glavin are expected to present the results of their research during this week's meeting of Ecological Society of America in Portland.
However, the good news is that, “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," says professor John Harrison, who oversaw these two students' work.