Emerging trends in global freshwater availability — @JayFamiglietti, et al.

Trends in TWS (in centimetres per year) obtained on the basis of GRACE observations from April 2002 to March 2016. The cause of the trend in each outlined study region is briefly explained and colour-coded by category. The trend map was smoothed with a 150-km-radius Gaussian filter for the purpose of visualization; however, all calculations were performed at the native 3° resolution of the data product. Graphic credit: Jay Famiglietti, et al.

Click here to read the report. Here’s the abstract:

Freshwater availability is changing worldwide. Here we quantify 34 trends in terrestrial water storage observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites during 2002–2016 and categorize their drivers as natural interannual variability, unsustainable groundwater consumption, climate change or combinations thereof. Several of these trends had been lacking thorough investigation and attribution, including massive changes in northwestern China and the Okavango Delta. Others are consistent with climate model predictions. This observation-based assessment of how the world’s water landscape is responding to human impacts and climate variations provides a blueprint for evaluating and predicting emerging threats to water and food security.

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