Earth soaks up more water; leads to slowing down seal level riseAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 16, 2016 20:02 ET
A new study has revealed that hot, parched Earth is soaking up more of the water inland before it flows into the oceans.
Climate-driven changes in land water storage and their contributions to sea level rise have been absent from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level budgets owing to observational challenges.
Recent advances in satellite measurement of time-variable gravity combined with reconciled global glacier loss estimates enable a disaggregation of continental land mass changes and a quantification of this term.
Researchers found that between 2002 and 2014, climate variability resulted in an additional 3200 900 gigatons of water being stored on land. This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by 0.71 0.20 millimeters per year.
NASA scientists examined satellite measurements over the last 10 years. They found, for the first time, that planet Earth's continents absorbed and stored an additional 3.2 trillion tons of water in lakes, soils and underground aquifers.
By doing so, the rate of sea level rise has been temporarily slowed by 20 percent, researchers said.
These findings highlight the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology when assigning attribution to decadal changes in sea level.
How much of an effect does terrestrial groundwater storage have on sea-level rise Researchers used gravity measurements made between 2002 and 2014 by NASA's Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to quantify variations in groundwater storage.
Combining those data with estimates of mass loss by glaciers revealed groundwater's impact on sea-level change. Net groundwater storage has been increasing, and the greatest regional changes, both positive and negative, are associated with climate-driven variability in precipitation. Thus, groundwater storage has slowed the rate of recent sea-level rise by roughly 15%.
A lot has been discussed on groundwater depletion. In a talk, UC Davis hydrology professor Graham Fogg had debunked several common myths about groundwater.
Pumping of ancient water in unsustainable
Groundwater storage depletion always takes a long time to recover
Groundwater levels tell us how much groundwater storage is changing
The quality of most groundwater is degraded
Good quality groundwater today will likely stay that way
Climate change will decrease groundwater recharge
Earth soaks up more water; leads to slowing down seal level rise