Huge Land Loss Predicted for Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Huge Land Loss Predicted for Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

SOURCE: VOA News DATE: February 16, 2019 SNIP: Nearly the entire Mekong Delta in Vietnam — an area that helps feed about 200 million people — will sink underwater by the year 2100 at current rates, a new study predicts. The delta, which is home to almost 18 million people and produces half of Vietnam’s food, faces this potential humanitarian crisis largely because the heavy extraction of groundwater is causing land to sink as sea levels simultaneously rise, the study found. When combined with rates of sea-level increase because of climate change, they found that no matter what action was taken the vast low-lying delta plain will be lost. Fueled by Vietnam’s transition to a market-based economy in 1986, groundwater extraction had accelerated from practically nothing 30 years ago to the 2.5 million cubic liters now sucked out of the delta’s water table every day. The loss of water … reduced pressure in the underlying geology, causing the delta to sink. At the same time, he said, the sea level is rising at a rate of about 3 to 4 millimeters per year. Loss of naturally replenishing sediment is another critical factor in the sinking of the delta. Upstream dams on the Mekong, which flows more than 4,000 kilometers from the Tibetan plateau in China through Laos and Cambodia before discharging through the delta, had led to about a 40 percent loss in sediment flow, he said. A 2018 study by the Mekong River Commission found a catastrophic 97 percent of sediment flow to the delta would be lost by 2040 if all planned dams on the Mekong and...
Climate change helping to sink parts of the Netherlands quicker than expected

Climate change helping to sink parts of the Netherlands quicker than expected

SOURCE: Euronews DATE: November 22, 2018 SNIP: Climate change is playing a major role in the Netherlands sinking more than expected, say researchers. A team from Delft University of Technology made the conclusion after publishing the first nationwide figures on subsidence. They used GPS and radar data as well as gravity measurements to produce a special subsidence map. It shows the western city of Gouda, for instance, is sinking by three millimetres per year, on average. The university said the recent dry weather was accelerating the subsidence. “Climate change appears to play a major role in this accelerated subsidence,” it said in a press release. “The relatively warm summers are dehydrating peat soils, speeding up subsidence. This process is irreversible: the peat oxidises, which also means that more CO2 is released into the...
New Orleans Is In Big Trouble

New Orleans Is In Big Trouble

SOURCE: IFLScience.com and NASA. DATE: May 19, 2016 SNIP: NASA has confirmed that New Orleans and the surrounding areas are sinking at a much higher rate than previously thought. … While the fact that the region is sinking is not new, NASA have highlighted that the degree to which it is happening is much greater than previously thought, and that it could be putting certain regions at a much greater risk of flooding, as if there wasn’t a big enough one to begin with. It is hoped that the data can be used to attempt to reduce or reverse the subsidence in the most severely affected areas, as well as help with planning decisions for the...
California Sinking Faster Than Thought, Aquifers Could Permanently Shrink

California Sinking Faster Than Thought, Aquifers Could Permanently Shrink

SOURCE: Yahoo News DATE: August 22, 2015 AUTHOR: Tia Ghose SNIP: California is sinking even faster than scientists had thought, new NASA satellite imagery shows. Some areas of the Golden State are sinking more than 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) per month, the imagery reveals. Though the sinking, called subsidence, has long been a problem in California, the rate is accelerating because the state’s extreme drought is fueling voracious groundwater pumping. “Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows — up to 100 feet (30 meters) lower than previous records,” Mark Cowin, director of California’s Department of Water Resources, said in a statement. “As extensive groundwater pumping continues, the land is sinking more rapidly, and this puts nearby infrastructure at greater risk of costly damage.” What’s more, this furious groundwater pumping could have long-term consequences. If the land shrinks too much, and for too long, it can permanently lose its ability to store groundwater, the researchers said. MORE:...