The Truth is Powerful
Climate change influences river flow
Climate change is affecting the water balance of our planet: depending on the region and the time of year, this can influence the amount of water in rivers potentially resulting in more flooding or drought. River flow is an important indicator of water resources available to humans and the environment. The amount of available water also depends on further factors, such as direct interventions in the water cycle or land use change: if, for example, water is diverted for irrigation or regulated via reservoirs, or forests are cleared and monocultures grown in their place, this can have an impact on river flow.
However, how river flow has changed worldwide in recent years was so far not investigated using direct observations. Similarly, the question whether globally visible changes are attributable to climate change or to water and land management had not been clarified.
Now, an international research team led by ETH Zurich has succeeded in breaking down the influence of these factors, after analysing data from 7,250 measuring stations worldwide. The study, which has been published in the renowned scientific journal Science , demonstrates that river flow changed systematically between 1971 and 2010. Complex patterns were revealed – some regions such as […]