Study: Most of Earth's Largest Lakes Are Drying Up
According to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, more than half of the world's largest lakes and reservoirs have lost considerable amounts of water over the past three decades.
- According to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, more than half of the world's largest lakes and reservoirs have lost considerable amounts of water over the past three decades.1
- To construct lake water storage time series, the researchers examined climate data, hydrologic models, and nearly 250K satellite images of the world's biggest 1,972 lakes and reservoirs from the time period 1992 to 2020.2
- The study found that 53% of the world's largest freshwater bodies, representing 95% of Earth's total lake water storage, lost water.3
- The study suggests that since the early 1990s, at least 56% of the net loss of water volume in natural lakes has been driven chiefly by climate change and human consumption.4
- However, the study discovered that 24% of global lakes witnessed significant increases in water storage, largely in remote areas, primarily due to changes in precipitation and reduced human water use.5
- Meanwhile, researchers said nearly two-thirds of Earth's large reservoirs experienced a significant water loss, mostly due to sedimentation build-up.6
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2EurekAlert!, 3CNBCTV18, 4VOA, 5CNN, and 6Earth.
- Narrative A, as provided by Newsweek. Lakes and reservoirs are shrinking thanks to droughts, heat waves, and wildfires that owe their origins to climate change. The study is alarming, and with the current trajectory of climate change, the lake drying issue is likely to worsen. It's high time the world paid heed and took action to protect critical sources of water — which support regional ecosystems and an estimated one-quarter of the world's population. It's vital to curb global warming asap as well.
- Narrative B, as provided by Al Jazeera. Studies like these allow "apocalypse investors" to profit from climate change, not stop it. While the public gets greenwashed, billions of dollars are poured into substituting oil and gas and addressing industrial-scale farming — which releases enormous amounts of greenhouse gases and pollutes water — in an attempt to curb global warming. However, there's no evidence that oil and gas are being substituted or phased out or that the world's largest food and agricultural businesses have switched to regenerative farming practices.