NASA Satellite Measures the Human Impact in Water Storage
Music: "Cycle of the Moon," "Domestic Idyll," Universal Production Music
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0:27-0:33; 0:57-1:06; 2:00-2:05; 2:14-2:45 provided by pond5.
To investigate humans’ impact on freshwater resources, scientists have now conducted the first global accounting of fluctuating water levels in Earth’s lakes and reservoirs – including ones previously too small to measure from space. Scientists used these height measurements to study 227,386 water bodies over 22 months and discovered that, from season to season, the water level in Earth’s lakes and ponds fluctuate on average by about 8.6 inches (0.22 m). At the same time, the water level of human-managed reservoirs fluctuate on average by nearly quadruple that amount – about 34 inches (0.86 m).
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center