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Home / Articles / Today / Environment Today /  Groundwater Depletion Accelerates Sea-Level Rise
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Friday, June 1,2012

Groundwater Depletion Accelerates Sea-Level Rise

photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Groundwater depletion will soon be as important a factor in contributing to sea-level rise as the melting of glaciers other than those in Greenland and Antarctica, scientists say.

That's because water pumped out of the ground for irrigation, industrial uses, and even drinking must go somewhere after it's used—and, whether it runs directly into streams and rivers or evaporates and falls elsewhere as rain, one likely place for it to end up is the ocean.

To find out how much of an effect this has on sea level, a team of Dutch scientists led by hydrologist Yoshihide Wada, a graduate student at Utrecht University, divided the Earth's land surface into 31-by-31-mile (50-by-50 kilometer) squares on a grid to calculate present and future groundwater usage.

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