Aired 5 years ago on KPCC 
Earth and Environment

Why Reservoirs Are Massive Producers Of Greenhouse Gases

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Justin Sullivan
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Because every story has a flips tonight reservoirs you know those lake like bunnies of water they provide flood control irrigation drinking water electric power recreation beautiful in environmentally friendly now well we have such great drinking water new york pick because and he's reservoir so well turns out maybe not a rhesus study show their reservoirs are also won unforeseen mentor of green house gases if you put all the reservoir together they produce as much methane and see out to has the entire country of canada which is the ninth largest green house gas emitting country in the world so why reservoirs such a carbon contradiction trying to me to discuss the good and the bad is harrison associate professor school of environment that they're washington state university in vancouver washington welcome to signs friday thanks error it's great to bigger only been building reservoirs for centuries that's because they're very use fold so that's got to be a good thing right well exactly right yes reservoir is still a lot of really important things for the communities which there is and and and you mentioned a number of them in addition to us it's climate change is the way that it's supposed to with more intense cycles of floating in droughts then reservoirs could provide can really providing important buffer against those changes yeah and but but you're research suggest they reservoirs contribute took global warming okay so it's a good thing bad thing i well how does this actually happened with reservoirs yeah well so it turns out the reservoirs are a really good place to re up organic matter and that makes a lot of nothing and methane it's a really potent green house guess effect on a promote killed basis it's about thirty five times more opponent then ceo too so anything up falls in the reservoir you know that's organic is going to be composed in just fizzle out the they into methane that's right organic matter that's their winner reservoirs flooded will run up organic matter the flow zoom from stream or grows in around zero four some will when it routes in the absence of oxygen can can be converted to methane and then and that it to the western it turns out like you said when you up all the emissions of green house guesses for rest of worse around the world that is a substantial.