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Study: Climate Change is Affecting Distribution of Global Water Resources

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Study examines the impact of climate change on the distribution of global water resources

The distribution of water around the globe is being directly impacted by climate change, according to a recent study from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).

The SUNY-ESF study, led by graduate students, found that rising temperatures associated with climate change are doing more than altering weather patterns and contributing to extreme weather events. Rising temperatures, they found, are also contributing to a change in how water is distributed around the globe.

Redistribution of water

Researchers analyzed more than 40 years of water samples to examine how precipitation changed over time. The water analyzed in the study were archived samples from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in New Hampshire

One finding: There has been a noteworthy rise in the amount of water that originated far to the north.

Arctic evaporation

Near the end of the 40-year time span of the samples, researchers found a marked increase in "water derived from evaporation of the Arctic and the North Atlantic oceans."

Changes like that can directly impact the availability clean drinking water and create flooding issues when and where they previously didn't exist.

The SUNY-ESF researchers noted that the ultimate goal of the study is to help determine the "changes that are likely to affect global water resources," as at least 11 percent of the global population live without access to reliable, clean water.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.