Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Biogeosciences, 17, 515–527, 2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 515–527, 2020

Research article 31 Jan 2020

Research article | 31 Jan 2020

The carbon footprint of a Malaysian tropical reservoir: measured versus modelled estimates highlight the underestimated key role of downstream processes

Cynthia Soued and Yves T. Prairie

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Cited articles

Barros, N., Cole, J. J., Tranvik, L. J., Prairie, Y. T., Bastviken, D., Huszar, V. L. M., del Giorgio, P., and Roland, F.: Carbon emission from hydroelectric reservoirs linked to reservoir age and latitude, Nat. Geosci., 4, 593–596,, 2011. 
Bastien, J. and Demarty, M.: Spatio-temporal variation of gross CO2 and CH4 diffusive emissions from Australian reservoirs and natural aquatic ecosystems, and estimation of net reservoir emissions, Lakes Reserv. Res. Manag., 18, 115–127,, 2013. 
Bastviken, D., Ejlertsson, J., and Tranvik, L.: Measurement of methane oxidation in lakes: A comparison of methods, Environ. Sci. Technol., 36, 3354–3361,, 2002. 
Bastviken, D., Tranvik, L. J., Downing, J. A., Crill, P. M., and Enrich-Prast, A.: Freshwater Methane Emissions Offset the Continental Carbon Sink, Science, 331, 50–50,, 2011. 
Beaulieu, J. J., McManus, M. G., and Nietch, C. T.: Estimates of reservoir methane emissions based on a spatially balanced probabilistic-survey, Limnol. Oceanogr., 61, S27–S40,, 2016. 
Short summary
Freshwater reservoirs emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) due to organic matter decay after landscape flooding. In order to better understand this phenomenon, we performed a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment of a tropical reservoir. Contrary to predictions, 89 % of measured emissions occurred downstream of the dam. Comparing predicted vs. measured emissions revealed weaknesses in our current modeling framework and insights to improve our ability to quantify and reduce reservoir GHG emissions.
Final-revised paper