Bharat Express

Study: More Than Half Of The World’s Large Lakes Are Drying

The world is currently warming at a rate of about 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.9F)


The new finding shows that more than half of the world’s large lakes and reservoirs are shrinking since the early 1990s, owing primarily to climate change, raising concerns about water availability for agriculture, hydropower, and human consumption.

A group of international researchers stated that for nearly three decades, some of the world’s most important freshwater sources, ranging from the Caspian Sea between Europe and Asia to South America’s Lake Titicaca, had lost water at a cumulative pace of roughly 22 gigatonnes per year. That is around 17 times the volume of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States.

According to Fangfang Yao, a surface hydrologist at the University of Virginia who conducted a study published in the journal Science, climate warming and human consumption were responsible for 56% of the loss in natural lakes, with warming accounting for the larger share of that.

Yao remarked, “Climate scientists generally think that the world’s arid areas will become drier under climate change, and wet areas will get wetter, but the study found significant water loss even in humid regions. This should not be overlooked”.

Scientists evaluated over 2,000 large lakes by combining satellite information with climate and hydrological models.

They discovered that unsustainable human usage, changes in rainfall and run-off, sedimentation, and rising temperatures have all contributed to global lakes indicating a reduction between 1992 to 2020.

Nearly 2 billion people live in a drying lake basin, and many places have experienced water shortages in recent years.

Scientists and activists have long argued that global warming must be limited to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to avert the most disastrous effects of climate change. The world is currently warming at a rate of about 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.9 degrees Fahrenheit).

The study found unsustainable human use dried up lakes such as the Aral Sea in Central Asia and the Dead Sea in the Middle East, while lakes in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Mongolia were damaged by rising temperatures, which can accelerate water loss to the atmosphere.

A quarter of the lake’s water level rose, frequently as a result of dam construction in distant places such as the Inner Tibetan Plateau.

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