NASA, Freshwater sources

According to the NASA scientists, the location of the fresh water which is present around the world are changing continuously, and this is happening due to the human activities. A mission which is about 14 years old has confirmed that there is a massive redistribution of freshwater in the Earth.

The study shows that the freshwater distribution has changed in a significant manner across middle-latitude belts as the water is dried up there and higher altitudes have got more water in their belts. This result is based on the combination of the effects of climate change with vast human withdrawals of groundwater and simple natural changes.

NASA, Freshwater sources

According to the Jay Famiglietti, who is the co-author of the research and senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said, “The human fingerprint is all over changing freshwater availability. We see it in large-scale overuse of groundwater. We see it as a driver of climate change. The study shows that humans have drastically altered the global water landscape in a very profound way.”

The data were obtained from the NASA satellites and mapping the human activities where freshwater is changing its course. The researchers who have studied this changes have given various reasons for the changes in water management practices, natural cycles, and climate change.  The mission named Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) has helped the researchers to provide them with this data. GRACE is going to end, but it will soon be replaced by the “Follow-On “ endeavor which has two twin satellites in orbit and can detect the tug of the Earth’s gravity and can also monitor mass changes basing on slight differences.

The team of researchers who are led by Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, had tracked the global change in freshwater in about 34 regions. He had used 14 years of observations from the GRACE spacecraft mission to track these changes.

As per Rodell, he said, “This is the first time that we’ve used observations from multiple satellites in a thorough assessment of how freshwater availability is changing, everywhere on Earth. A key goal was to distinguish shifts in terrestrial water storage caused by natural variability – wet periods and dry periods associated with El Niño and La Niña, for example – from trends related to climate change or human impacts, like pumping groundwater out of an aquifer faster than it is replenished.”


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