GREEN
05/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Climate Change Drying Up Big Rivers, Study Finds

The flow of water in some of the world's largest rivers has declined over a half century, according to a new, comprehensive study whose authors tied the discovery to global warming. An analysis of 925 major rivers from 1948 to 2004, found significant changes in about a third, according to the study appearing in the May 15 edition of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate. 4

The Colorado River, the Yellow River in northern China, the Ganges in India and the Niger in West Africa are losing water, in some cases because of the effects of climate change, a new study finds. Increased flows were the exception rather than the rule though: Rivers with decreased flow outnumbered those with increased flow in the study by a ratio of 2.5 to 1. 3

When added to the effects from damming, irrigation and other water use, these changes could add up to a threat to future supplies of food and water, the researchers reported in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate. Dai's team looked at records of river flow in 925 big rivers from 1948 to 2004, finding significant changes in about a third of the world's largest rivers. 2
  1. How Drier I Am: Flow of Many Rivers in Decline (Sightline)
  2. Climate Change Drying Up Big Rivers, Study Finds (Reuters)
  3. Rivers Losing Water Due to Climate Change (Live Science)
  4. Some Big Rivers Show a Big Shrinkage (MSNBC)

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