February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 9, SEPTEMBER 1997
"Increases in Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases and Methyl Mercury Following
Flooding of an Experimental Reservoir," C.A. Kelly (Dept. Microbiol.,
Univ. Mantioba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Can.), J.W.M. Rudd et al.,Environ.
Sci. & Technol., 31(5), 1334-1344, May 1997.
Reports on extensive field measurements in Canada and the
recommendations indicated for minimizing production of greenhouse gases
and toxic methyl mercury from reservoirs: (1) minimize the total area
flooded (avoid flooding areas of low relief); and (2) minimize the
flooding of wetlands, which contain larger quantities of organic carbon
"Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Amazonian Hydroelectric Reservoirs:
The Example of Brazil's Tucuruí Dam as Compared to Fossil Fuel
Alternatives," P.M. Fearnside (Natl. Inst. for Res. in the
Amazon--INPA, CP 478, 69011-970 Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org),Environ. Conserv., 24(1), 64-75,
Uses a tropical case study to illustrate how the impacts of greenhouse
gas emissions from reservoirs should be calculated and compared with those
of alternative energy sources such as fossil fuels. The bulk of emissions
from hydroelectric generation occur early in the lifetime of the project,
while those from fossil fuel generation are constant in proportion to the
power generated. Results show that the selected method of time preference
is a key factor in the outcome. For instance, with low annual discount
rates (1-2%) the global warming impact of the Tucurui Dam is 3-4 times
less than that of fossil fuel, but the situation reverses above a discount
rate of 15%.
"Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydropower: The State of Research in
1996," L. Gagnon (Environ. Dept., Hydro-Québec, 75 René
Lévesque W., Montréal PQ H2Z 1A4, Can.), J.F. van de Vate,Energy
Policy, 25(1), 7-13, Jan. 1997.
Reports on findings of a recent expert meeting of the International
Atomic Energy Agency on the assessment of greenhouse gases from
hydropower. Considers both emissions during construction and those
resulting from flooding to create reservoirs. In most cases, hydropower
plants are a good alternative to fossil fuel generation in cold climates,
but this may not be the case in humid tropical climates, where research on
this issue is badly needed.
Comment and Reply: Environ. Conservation, 23, 1996:
"Are Hydroelectric Dams in the Brazilian Amazon Significant Sources
of 'Greenhouse Gases?'" L.P. Rosa, R. Schaeffer (COPPE, Univ. Fed.
Rio de Janeiro, Centro Technol., Bloco C, Sala 211, CP 68565, Cidade
Univ., Ilha do Fundao, 21945-970 Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil; e-mail:
email@example.com), M.A. dos Santos, pp. 2-6, Mar. 1996. Counters a 1995
paper by Fearnside, which concluded that the global warming impact of
hydroelectric reservoirs in the Amazon is greater than that of fossil fuel
sources of energy.
"Hydroelectric Dams in Brazilian Amazonia: Response to Rosa,
Schaeffer & dos Santos," P.M. Fearnside (Natl. Inst. for Res. in
the Amazon--INPA, CP 478, 69011-970 Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org), pp. 105-108, June 1996. Presents a short,
point-by-point defense of his 1995 analysis, rebutting the above comment.
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