Groundwater to get over 3 degrees Celsius warmer by century's end: Study

The "world's first global groundwater temperature model" predicted the highest warming rates in Central Russia, Northern China and parts of North America
According to WHO, currently only 18 out of 125 countries have temperature guidelines for drinking water
According to WHO, currently only 18 out of 125 countries have temperature guidelines for drinking waterEdexLive Desk

According to new research, groundwater is projected to get warmer by 2-3.5 degrees Celsius before the turn of this century, potentially risking water quality and safety, apart from threatening ecosystems depending on the resource. This was stated in a report by PTI.

The "world's first global groundwater temperature model" predicted the highest warming rates in Central Russia, Northern China and parts of North America, and the Amazon rainforest in South America.

A team of researchers, led by those from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, said that while a lot of focus on climate change concerns weather events and water availability, we also need to think about how it impacts groundwater, critical to life on the planet.

"Rivers rely on groundwater to keep flowing during dry times. Warm waters hold less dissolved oxygen," explained study co-author Gabriel Rau from the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom (UK).

According to the World Health Organization, currently only 18 out of 125 countries have temperature guidelines for drinking water.

Warmer groundwater raises the risk of disease-causing microbial growth, thereby, affecting drinking water quality and potentially the lives of people, said Rau.

"This is especially concerning in areas where access to clean drinking water is already limited, and in areas where groundwater is consumed without treatment," he added.

The model, however, showed that under a high-emissions scenario, or fossil fuel-driven development, the groundwater temperature could rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius.

"If temperatures increase, we may see significant impacts to our local aquatic animals, including their spawning processes which will impact industries and communities that are reliant on these ecosystems," said co-author Dylan Irvine, Charles Darwin University, Australia.

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