Ground water extraction tilts Earth axis, reveals new study


SEOUL:  The extraction of groundwater has shifted the Earth’s axis of rotation, according to a new study.

The study, ‘Drift of Earth’s Pole Confirms Groundwater Depletion as a Significant Contributor to Global Sea Level Rise 1993–2010’, was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

In a telling discovery, the researchers have found that the Earth has tilted nearly 80 centimetres east, at a rate of 4.36 cm/year between 1993-2010.

The study estimates that 2150 gigatons of groundwater extracted, primarily for irrigation, industrial and household purposes is equivalent to the size of Africa’s largest Victoria Lake.

If poured into an ocean, this amount of water can raise sea levels up by upto 6mm.

With the global population increasing from 2 billion to 8 billion in less than a hundred years, the water crisis looms large. According to UN, there could be a global shortfall in freshwater by 2030.

To cope with water scarcity, experts suggest reforming water governance and adequate pricing of water to reduce wastage in farming that accounts for nearly 70 percent of freshwater withdrawal.








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