Science

Google Reveals 90,000 Square Kilometers Of Water Vanished From Earth's Surface

By Monica U Santos , Dec 10, 2016 01:22 AM EST
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Google reveals 90,000 square kilometers of water has vanished from Earth's surface in 30 years. The number released by Google is equivalent to half of the lakes in Europe. According to new study, 90,000 square kilometers water has vanished from the surface of the Earth since 1984.

Hydrosphere On Earth's Surface

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. The abundance of water on Earth's surface is a unique feature that distinguishes the "Blue Planet" from other planets in the Solar System. Earth's hydrosphere consists chiefly of the oceans, but technically includes all water surfaces in the world, including inland seas, lakes and rivers.

The hydrosphere is the combined mass of water found on, under, and above the surface of a planet, minor planet or natural satellite. It has been estimated that there are 1386 million cubic kilometers of water on Earth. This includes water in liquid and frozen forms in groundwater, oceans, lakes and streams. Saltwater accounts for 97.5% of this amount. Fresh water accounts for only 2.5%. The hydrological cycle transfers water from one state or reservoir to another.

Google Reveals 90,000 Square Kilometers Of Water Vanished From Earth's Surface

Evidence of rapid change across the earth’s surface in the past three decades is now readily available, thanks to new technology and satellite imagery compiled by Google that shows the impact of human activity and development on nature. According to The CS Monitor, Using Google’s latest toy, “Timelapse,” it’s possible to scroll over cities, landmarks, and natural wonders, watching as they develop or shrink between 1984 and 2016.

Google was able to map changes in the water surface over time with a 30-metre accuracy, month-by-month, over 32 years - and the findings are very alarming. According to the images from Mirror, the continuing drying up of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan accounts for the biggest water loss in the world. Iran and Afghanistan have also lost over a half of their water area, and Iraq has lost over a third.

Although the area covered by water in the US has increased a little, a combination of drought and sustained demand for water have seen six western states - Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah - account for a third of the loss in US water surface. Meanwhile, more than 13,000 square kilometers of the Mississippi delta - an area 10 times the size of London - is slowly slipping into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

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