Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Irrigation management is the key to bioenergy production to mitigate climate change

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To avoid a substantial increase in water scarcity, biomass plantations for energy production need sustainable water management, according to a new study. Bioenergy is often seen as one of the options for reducing greenhouse gases to meet Paris climate goals, especially when combined with CO2 capture from biomass power plants and its storage underground. Yet growing large-scale bioenergy plantations around the world requires not only land, but also considerable amounts of freshwater for irrigation – which may be at odds with respecting the planetary boundaries of the world. Earth. Scientists have now calculated in their most detailed computer simulations to date how much additional water stress could result for people around the world under a conventional irrigation scenario and a sustainable freshwater use scenario.

“Irrigation of future biomass plantations for energy production without sustainable water management, combined with population growth, could double both the global area and the number of people under severe water stress here. the end of the century, according to our computer simulations, ”says leading author Fabian Stenzel of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)…

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