Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

Depletion of groundwater has affected pole rotation drift

A recent study reveals that the excessive extraction of groundwater for drinking and irrigation has led to a 1.57-inch (3.98-centimeter) shift in the Earth’s axis. Although this shift does not directly impact climate change, the study suggests that the overuse of groundwater, driven by climate change, may have indirectly contributed to the shift. The research, conducted by academics from various countries, examined data from climate models focusing on polar movements between 1993 and 2010. They found that 2.15 giga-tons of water, equivalent to a 6.24-millimeter rise in sea levels, were extracted from underground, leading to the observed shift. The study underscores the connection between water distribution on Earth and the melting of polar and mountain glaciers, as well as groundwater depletion. This movement resulted in a total impact of 30.89 inches (78.46 cm) over the study period, corresponding to an annual shift of 1.71 inches (4.34 cm) towards the 64.16 east longitude.

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