DEC 31, 2020 2:57 PM PST

Land subsidence projections for 2040

Results from a meta-analysis literature review of global land subsidence have been reported in a Policy Forum of Science. The findings warn that land subsidence – the sinking of land surfaces – will impact 19% of the world’s population within the next two decades. This environmental change will ultimately have significant economic consequences for many regions around the world.

Gerardo Herrera Garcia and his colleagues conducted the study by analyzing the groundwater depletion and subsequent land subsidence at 200 sites in 34 nations over the last century. The authors say that factors that cause subsidence, such as high population density and groundwater demand for irrigation, will be exacerbated in the years to come due to the droughts and increased aridity brought on by climate change.

The researchers say that policies that protect against groundwater removal and monitor damage will be key to confronting global land subsidence. In their report, they describe a model they have developed that they say offers "a key first step toward formulating effective land-subsidence policies that are lacking in most countries worldwide."

The model uses spatial and statistical analyses to identify the risk of land subsidence in certain areas based on factors like flooding and groundwater depletion caused by human activities. The tea showed that their model was able to identify subsidence and non-subsidence areas with 94% accuracy when compared to independent validation datasets.

Photo: Pixabay

The model also took into consideration the economic impacts that land subsidence has, calculating that 21% of the global Gross Domestic Product will be impacted by subsidence by 2040. The authors say that parts of Asia is particularly susceptible to subsidence and the resulting economic consequences, citing a total exposed GDP of $9.78 trillion.

The team hopes that their analysis will shed light on the complex issue of land subsidence as well as raise awareness and inform decision-making.

Sources: Science, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 25, 2021
Microbiology
When Food is Scarce, Ocean Microbes Cooperate to Gather More
JUL 25, 2021
When Food is Scarce, Ocean Microbes Cooperate to Gather More
Microbes live everywhere, even in the open ocean. They have to compete for survival just like other organisms but even t ...
JUL 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Using Iron Waste to Clean Pesticides
JUL 30, 2021
Using Iron Waste to Clean Pesticides
Groundwater is something most people use every day. Whether for drinking, washing, or growing the food you eat, it is pa ...
AUG 06, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Your Coffee Could be Harming the Oceans
AUG 06, 2021
Your Coffee Could be Harming the Oceans
Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive drugs in the world. Approximately sixty plant species produce c ...
AUG 15, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Stunning Connection Between Bear DNA & Human Language Groups Is Revealed
AUG 15, 2021
Stunning Connection Between Bear DNA & Human Language Groups Is Revealed
Incredible findings from the wilds of coastal British Columbia have shown how closely linked animals, humans, and the en ...
AUG 17, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Air Quality Changes Throughout Lockdowns Prove Optimistic
AUG 17, 2021
Air Quality Changes Throughout Lockdowns Prove Optimistic
COVID-19 lockdowns have reduced human activities and, subsequently, a reduction in air-polluting emissions. Air quality ...
AUG 20, 2021
Earth & The Environment
World Mosquito Day - Disease Deliverers Denigrated
AUG 20, 2021
World Mosquito Day - Disease Deliverers Denigrated
August 20th is World Mosquito Day, but we’re not celebrating the mosquitoes themselves. Instead, we are celeb ...
Loading Comments...