Recently, scientists have discovered an interesting fact about the water on Earth. It looks like it covers a much wider surface than we thought. The breakthrough was made thanks to the Global River Widths map. The system was used to create a detailed image of our planet’s extensive river network. Thanks to this map, they could establish the fact that, throughout the Earth’s surface, water can be found on larger areas than we previously estimated.
The total length and width of rivers and streams from the entire Earth was measured using NASA’s satellite images and statistical techniques. The study’s results show that rivers can have a more important role in controlling the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and scientists want to use this data in their further research.
George Allen, assistant professor of geography in the College of Geosciences from Texas made an interesting statement concerning the study. He declared that, although not many rivers were wide enough to be measured with the images from the Landsat database, scientists could summarize more than 2 million kilometres of flowing water with a with larger than 30 metres.
There is more water in the Arctic area and less in developed parts of the Earth
After measuring all the rivers and streams from around the world, they saw that they cover an area which is larger than the whole size of Texas. Also, they were surprised to see that the Arctic area holds more water than they thought so far.
On the other hand, scientists were disappointed to notice that the area covered by water narrows in developed parts of the world. This phenomenon is, most likely, the result of human activities which are modifying the river system.
Scientists know that rivers and streams release gases which create the greenhouse effect into the atmosphere. George Allen says that the new data will be used for fighting against climate change, but people need to contribute to their efforts as well.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca