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Loss in Rainforest Could Lead to Drop of Hydropower Generation

rocky gorge 300x225 Loss in Rainforest Could Lead to Drop of Hydropower GenerationA study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science earlier this week revealed that deforestation in tropical regions will lead to a reduction in hydroenergy output.

Scientists explain that rainforests, especially in the Amazon basin, Central Africa and Indonesia, are not only responsible for controlling the carbon cycle, but they also play a key role in the formation of rain clouds through evaporation.

Losing large areas of the rainforest leads to reducing rainfall and stream flow, the authors explain. The study predicts that by 2050 it is likely that as much as 40 percent of the hydropower generated by streams and rivers could be lost.

Projects that are currently running in developing countries, such as the Belo Monte project in Brazil, are likely to generate less than half of their overall energy capacity.

Dr Claudia M. Stickler and Daniel C. Nepstad, the authors of the study, who currently work at the Amazon Institute for Environmental Research in Brasilia, warn that if developing nations such as Brazil aim to produce hydropower as a green alternative, they should certainly include stream flow and rainforest cover into their planning strategies.

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About the author

Mila is a researcher and scientist with a great passion for soils, rocks, plants, water and all environment-related aspects of our surroundings. For the past 10 years, during the course of her educational and professional development, she travelled all over Europe, Africa and Asia, driven by her passion for the environment and urge to seek challenges.

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