Groundwater has not escaped global warming, says a study, suggesting that the warming stages observed in the atmosphere are replicated down below as well.
“Global warming is reflected directly in the groundwater, albeit damped and with a certain time lag,” said Peter Bayer, senior assistant at ETH Zurich’s Geological Institute in Switzerland.
The data reveals that the groundwater close to the surface, down to a depth of around 60 metres has warmed up significantly in the course of global warming over the last 40 years.
This water heating follows the warming pattern of the local and regional climate which, in turn, mirrors the pattern of global warming.
The groundwater reveals how the atmosphere has made several temperature leaps at irregular intervals.
“We were quite surprised at how quickly the groundwater responded to climate change,” Bayer added.
For their study, researchers were able to fall back on uninterrupted long-term temperature measurements of groundwater flows around the cities of Cologne and Karlsruhe in Switzerland, where local waterworks have been measuring the temperature of the groundwater, which has been largely uninfluenced by humans for 40 years.
The earth’s atmosphere has warmed up by an average of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade in the last 50 years.
According to Bayer, it is plausible that the natural groundwater flow is also warming up in the course of climate change.
The study appeared in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>