The over-exploitation of groundwater has a significant impact on the earth’s rotation, resulting in a drift at a speed of 4.36 centimetres per year between 1993 and 2010. The US and India are the nations with the greatest water scarcity, resulting in groundwater extraction.
According to the study published by Geophysical Research Letter, melting polar ice sheets and glaciers are actually the ultimate cause of sea level rise, but groundwater depletion caused by irrigation has also been proposed as a significant anthropogenic factor in sea level rise.
The researchers have found that humans have extracted approximately 2,150 gigatons of groundwater which is equivalent to more than 0.24 inches of sea level rise.
To understand the phenomenon better, we need to know the Earth’s rotational pole changes which are directed to the outermost layer of the Earth (i.e. water). As water is distributed in a larger proportion, its weight and slight changes can cause changes to the Earth’s spin.
The study shows that the model indicates that if water is redistributed from aquifers to the oceans, the Earth’s rotational pole would shift approximately 78.48 cm towards 64.16°E. Additionally, it shows that among climate-related causes, the redistribution of groundwater actually has the biggest impact on the drift of the rotational pole, Ki-Weon Seo, a geophysicist at Seoul National University who led the study, said in a statement released by the American Geophysical Union.
The research was mostly done in western North America and northwestern India to maintain the location of the aquifers for a better and more effective study of the Earth’s spin.
To make other nations aware of the issue, researchers have also cautioned that these changes can affect the climate and seasons in the near future. Global climate models have clearly confirmed that groundwater depletion is a major reason for sea level rise during the last few decades causing drastic changes in the rotation of the earth’s pole shift
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