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Extreme drought boosts CO2 and CH4 emissions from reservoir drawdown areas
Radboud Univ Nijmegen, Inst Water & Wetland Res, Dept Aquat Ecol & Environm Biol, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Radboud Univ Nijmegen, Inst Water & Wetland Res, Dept Aquat Ecol & Environm Biol, Nijmegen, Netherlands; Wageningen Univ, Dept Aquat Ecol & Water Qual Management, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology. Univ Fed Juiz de Fora, Biol Dept, Juiz De Fora, Brazil.
Univ Fed Juiz de Fora, Biol Dept, Juiz De Fora, Brazil.
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2018 (English)In: INLAND WATERS, ISSN 2044-2041, E-ISSN 2044-205X, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 329-340Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although previous studies suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from reservoir sediment exposed to the atmosphere during drought may be substantial, this process has not been rigorously quantified. Here we determined carbon dioxide (CO 2) and methane (CH 4) emissions from sediment cores exposed to a drying and rewetting cycle. We found a strong temporal variation in GHG emissions with peaks when the sediment was drained (C emissions from permanently wet sediment and drained sediments were, respectively, 251 and 1646 mg m −2 d −1 for CO 2 and 0.8 and 547.4 mg m −2 d −1 for CH 4) and then again during rewetting (C emissions from permanently wet sediment and rewetted sediments were, respectively, 456 and 1725mg m −2 d −1 for CO 2 and 1.3 and 3.1 mg m −2 d −1 for CH 4). To gain insight into the importance of these emissions at a regional scale, we used Landsat satellite imagery to upscale our results to all Brazilian reservoirs. We found that during the extreme drought of 2014-2015, an additional 1299 km 2 of sediment was exposed, resulting in an estimated emission of 8.5 × 10 11 g of CO 2-eq during the first 15 d after the overlying water disappeared and in the first 33 d after rewetting, the same order of magnitude as the year-round GHG emissions of large (∼mean surface water area 454 km 2) Brazilian reservoirs, excluding the emissions from the draw-down zone. Our estimate, however, has high uncertainty, with actual emissions likely higher. We therefore argue that the effects of drought on reservoir GHG emissions merits further study, especially because climate models indicate an increase in the frequency of severe droughts in the future. We recommend incorporation of emissions during drying and rewetting into GHG budgets of reservoirs to improve regional GHG emission estimates and to enable comparison between GHG emissions from hydroelectric and other electricity sources. We also emphasize that peak emissions at the onset of drought and the later rewetting should be quantified to obtain reliable emission estimates. ARTICLE HISTORY

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, no 3, p. 329-340
Keywords [en]
drought, emission peaks, greenhouse gases, reservoirs, rewetting, sediment
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371238DOI: 10.1080/20442041.2018.1483126ISI: 000456214100008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371238DiVA, id: diva2:1272776
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 336642
Note

Corresponding author: R. Mendonca

Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Mendonça, RaquelSobek, Sebastian

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