Human pumping of groundwater has a significant impact on the Earth’s rotational tilt.
In addition, a new study documents the extent to which groundwater pumping affects climate change.
Understanding this relatively recent data may provide a better understanding of how to help avoid sea level rise.
water He has strength. So much force, in fact, that pumping Earth’s water table can change the planet’s tilt and rotation. It can also affect sea level rise and other consequences of climate change.
Groundwater pumping appears to have larger consequences than previously thought. But now — thanks to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters –We can see that in less than two decades, the earth has tilted 31.5 inches as a result of groundwater pumping. This equates to a sea level rise of 24 inches.
“Earth’s rotation pole changes a lot,” says Ki-wyun Seo, a geophysicist at Seoul National University and the study leader. statement. “Our study shows that among climate-related causes, groundwater redistribution actually has the greatest impact on shaft drift.”
with the Land Moving on a spinning shaft, the distribution of water on the planet affects the distribution of mass. “Like adding a little weight to a spinning top,” the authors He says“The Earth rotates a little differently while the water moves.”
Thanks to a study from NASA published In 2016, we were alerted to the fact that the distribution of water could alter the Earth’s rotation. This new study attempts to add some hard numbers to that realization. “I am very happy to find the unexplained cause of shaft drift,” Seo He says. “On the other hand, as a land-dweller and parent, I am concerned and surprised to see that groundwater pumping is another source of sea level rise.”
The study included data from 1993 through 2010, and showed pumping of up to 2,150 gigatonnes. underground water It caused the Earth’s tilt to change by approximately 31.5 inches. The pumping is largely for irrigation and human use, with groundwater ultimately transported to the oceans.
In this study, the researchers modeled the observed changes in Earth’s rotational pole drift and water movement. Across different scenarios, the only model matching erosion was the one that included 2,150 Gt of groundwater distribution.
Additional research is important, says Surendra Adhikari, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was involved in the 2016 study. “They identified the role of groundwater pumping in polar motion,” says V.A New release“And it’s very important.”
Where the water goes to – and from – is important. Redistribution of water from mid-latitudes makes the biggest difference, so our intense water movement from both western North America and northwest India has played a major role in tilt the changes.
Now that the effect of water movement has been known for such a relatively short and recent time, mining the historical data may help show trends and provide greater depth to understanding the effects of groundwater movement.
“Observing changes in the pole of the Earth’s rotation is useful,” Seo He saysTo understand differences in water storage across the continent.
This data may also help conservationists understand how to work to avoid persistence sea level rise and other climate issues. Hopefully, the changes will be implemented properly over time.
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