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From the Nile to the Amazon, Climate Change Threatens Hydropower

From the Amazon to the Nile to the Mekong, rivers are a lifeblood for many nations, filling taps and irrigation canals and generating hydroelectricity that is powering economic development. But a new study warns that changes to river flows caused by climate change threaten that. Thousands of hydrodams risk being left high and dry by mid-century as global warming takes hold.

On the face of it hydroelectricity seems an obvious antidote to climate change. Hydrodams are among the world’s largest power sources and free of carbon emissions. They could replace the burning of fossil fuels in dozens of countries, allowing economic development without booming emissions of greenhouse gases. Brazil, Egypt, China have led the way.

Eduardo Duarte


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