5-speed listening (Freshwater - Level 5)

Humans causing big shifts in freshwater locations






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NASA has said that human activity is causing a huge redistribution of freshwater across Earth. The redistribution is continuing as populations shift and demand for food increases. NASA said equatorial regions are drying, while tropical areas and higher latitudes are getting wetter. If this trend continues, many highly populated areas could struggle to find enough water in the future. NASA spent 14 years studying the shifting availability of freshwater. It was part of a mission called GRACE, which is an acronym for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment.

Jay Famiglietti, a co-author of the research and NASA's Senior Water Scientist, said: "The study shows that humans have really drastically altered the global water landscape in a very profound way. The human fingerprint is all over changing freshwater availability." He warned that: "We see it as a driver of climate change." Professor Famiglietti said that at least 40 per cent of the 34 hot areas looked at in the research were drier than twenty years ago because of human activity. One big reason was the excessive pumping of groundwater for farming.

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Freshwater - Level 4  |  Freshwater - Level 6

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