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Droughts Drop Hydropower Output, Raise Emissions, Study says

Dec. 21, 2018, 10:01 AM

Droughts have long been known to place pressure on agriculture and water supplies, but they can also lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions.

This can happen when power-hungry states use electricity from fossil fuels to replace hydropower, an energy source crippled by the lack of water.

A new study from Stanford University researchers finds that from 2001 to 2015, drought-induced emissions accounted for about 10 percent of annual carbon dioxide pollution in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

While many states and countries have emission-reduction goals, the study concluded regulators need to consider that prolonged and increasing droughts could interfere with...

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