BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have revealed that water storage in global endorheic basins has been reducing significantly since the beginning of the 21st century.
By integrating satellite observations and hydrological modeling, researchers from the United States, China, Canada, France, Germany and Austria quantitatively estimated the changes in total water storage of global endorheic basins including surface water, soil moisture and groundwater, said a report on the website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The water storage of the endorheic basins has been decreasing by approximately 100 billion cubic meters each year from 2002 to 2016, the report cited the researchers' study published in Nature Geoscience.
Endorheic basins spatially concur with arid or semi-arid climates. Given limited rainfall but the high potential of evaporation, water storage in endorheic basins is vulnerable to global warming and human activities.
The decline appears less sensitive to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation-driven climate variability, which implies a possible response to longer-term climate conditions and human water management, said the study.
Such a dramatic water loss in endorheic basins not only exacerbates local water stress but also imposes excess water on exorheic basins, leading to a potential sea level rise that matches the contribution of nearly half of the land glacier meltwater, excluding Greenland and Antarctica.