01 Dec 2011:
Southern U.S. Groundwater
Dips To Record Low Levels, NASA Map Shows
A new map released by U.S. scientists illustrates a steep drop in groundwater levels across much of Texas
and other southern states following record-breaking drought conditions. Using groundwater calculations based on satellite observations and other meteorological data, scientists at NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center and the University of Nebraska have shown that ground moisture in some regions of the U.S. — including much of Texas — has dipped to levels significantly lower than the long-term average since 1948, when levels of soil moisture and groundwater were first recorded. In eastern Texas, for instance, the ground has been as dry as it currently is only 2 percent of the time over the last 63 years. According to scientists, groundwater supplies are “extremely depleted” across more than half of Texas and parts of New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. The map is based on data from the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), which detects small changes in Earth’s gravity field that are caused by the redistribution of water on and beneath the land surface.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.