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#ThisIsClimateChange Dams contribute to climate change, as explained in this Washington State University press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/wsu-ang080612.php. Basically, aside from the carbon emissions from dam construction, there is an initial "carbon pulse" from filling a dam, when the impoundment area's plant life is engulfed and decomposes, and then there is an ongoing emission of methane that is developed within the reservoir, as carbon dioxide is converted by plants and decomposed in the water column. This methane is released by changing water levels as the reservoir is managed for energy production.

This dam is the Libby Dam, on the Kootenay River, in Montana. This dam is a project of the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers.
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Climate Photography, Joshua Ruschhaupt
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7360x4912 / 4.3MB
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Kootenay River, Libby Dam, MT
#ThisIsClimateChange Dams contribute to climate change, as explained in this Washington State University press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/wsu-ang080612.php. Basically, aside from the carbon emissions from dam construction, there is an initial "carbon pulse" from filling a dam, when the impoundment area's plant life is engulfed and decomposes, and then there is an ongoing emission of methane that is developed within the reservoir, as carbon dioxide is converted by plants and decomposed in the water column.  This methane is released by changing water levels as the reservoir is managed for energy production.<br />
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This dam is the Libby Dam, on the Kootenay River, in Montana.  This dam is a project of the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers.