July 21, 2024

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What is the total amount of water that flows through all the rivers on Earth?  Scientists have now

What is the total amount of water that flows through all the rivers on Earth? Scientists have now

Scientists have devised a new way to measure the total amount of water flowing through all rivers on Earth. The new methodology provides data that could be crucial for the future.

A new study by NASA shows how much water is currently in rivers around the world. Not only that; The same research shows how much water flows through the ocean and how much water the rivers ultimately “hold.” Then, scientists made it possible to see how these values ​​changed over time. The research shows which areas are most affected by heavy water use, and which areas fare fairly well.

Scientist Cedric David contributed to the research. “In recent years, many scientists have tried to make calculations for individual rivers, often looking at how much water ultimately ends up in the ocean,” he says. However, there are hardly any studies that look at the total water volume in all rivers together. Before we can properly manage water, we first need to know the total amount of water available. Previously, it was like spending money without knowing the amount in the account. It is essential to know this.” The research has been published in the journal Natural earth sciences.

Flow meters
Scientists have worked rigorously on research and devised a new methodology. For the purposes of the study, they combined various measurements from local stream meters with computer models of a total of more than three million river sections. The flow meters mentioned above are mainly found in large, crowded rivers, where they measure how fast the water is flowing and how high the water level is. However, the opposite is also true: unfortunately, there are many small rivers that do not have flow meters at all. Not only that; It is also largely unknown how much of Earth’s water eventually ends up in rivers, as melting snow and ice.

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Scientists have found a smart solution to all these problems; By looking from space at how high the water levels in different rivers were, it was possible to calculate how much water was left in the rivers afterward. To make these calculations possible, scientists used data from… Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This space mission was carried out in 2000, and its goal was to obtain an accurate image of the different elevations of the Earth.

Subsequent calculations showed that all rivers combined contained about 2,246 cubic kilometers of water. This represents about 2.5% of the total water on Earth. Of all the rivers it contains Amazon Basin Most of the water is in South America; 850 cubic kilometers, or 38% of the total water in the rivers. The same area also releases the most water of any river on Earth. For example, the river’s “emissions” are about 6,789 cubic kilometers of water per year. All rivers together “discharge” approximately 37,411 cubic kilometers of water annually.

Water shortage
The research findings are important because they provide tools for policy makers to better manage local water. This is much needed: research shows that there are a fair number of areas struggling with (domestic) water use, including Colorado River Basin In the United States, that is Amazon Basin In South America and so on Orange River Basin In South Africa. Water use is very intensive in these areas, which ultimately results in less incoming water flow. Therefore, researchers point out once again that it is very important to monitor water levels around the world. “We can do a lot around the world to ensure there is enough water for everyone,” David concludes. “However, we must remember that issues such as the climate crisis and (local) population growth can make this more difficult.”

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