NASA’s Global Freshwater ‘Selfie’ Catches Us in the Act of Over-Depletion

NASA GRACE image

Image: NASA, based on study by Matthew Rodell, et al, 2018

U.S. space agency NASA’s new analysis of 14 years of satellite data shows rapid change in the world’s freshwater supply in startling detail never captured before. The 34 “trends” in the data picture not only the effects of climate change, like worsening droughts, but of human over-use, such as pumping out underground aquifers to irrigate crops. To a lesser extent, they show natural change over time. They also  indicate where water scarcity is most likely to reach crisis mode and lead to armed conflict over resources and/or forced human migration.

“There are implications in that map for food security, for water security and for human security in terms of things like conflict and climate refugees,” said Dr. Jay Famiglietti, a water-resources expert affiliated with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-author of a paper on the findings in the journal Nature. He and other experts said the mapping should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers.

Read more:

NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater — NASA

Emerging Trends in Global Freshwater Availability — Nature

This Is an Eye-Opener’: Changes in Global Water Supply Hint at Future Conflicts and Crises — The Globe and Mail

Water Shortages to Be Key Environmental Challenge of the Century, NASA Warns — The Guardian

NASA Finds ‘Human Fingerprint’ in Many Areas of Water-Supply Change Worldwide — USA Today

First Map of Global Freshwater Trends Show Human Fingerprint — Axios

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World Water Day: UN World Water Development Report Warns of Global Crisis by 2030

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Study: Freshwater Shortage Will Double Climate Change’s Impact on Agriculture

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Filed under Climate Change, Conflicts, Drought, Environment, Global, Groundwater, Rivers and Watersheds, Science, Sustainability, Water Resources, Water Shortage

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