Accelerated Drying of the Mid-Latitudes from Groundwater Depletion

Monday, 15 December 2014: 2:10 PM
James S Famiglietti, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
Groundwater is the primary source of water to over 2 billion people, and provides the bulk of water for irrigation the world over. Much of this occurs in Earth’s arid and semi-arid regions, where aquifer recharge rates are low, and climate-change-induced mid-latitude drying will drive them even lower. In this presentation, recent findings on the global extent of groundwater depletion from the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission will be reviewed. Anthropogenic impacts on accelerating drying rates will be discussed, as will possible feedback mechanisms and implications for water sustainability.