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Home / Science / New maps show that rivers and streams cover much more of the Earth's surface than we thought

New maps show that rivers and streams cover much more of the Earth's surface than we thought



The world's stunning 'river map' covering much more of the Earth's surface than we thought

  • Global River Widgets map with satellite imagery and statistical technique for measuring latitude and longitude
  • Researchers now say rivers [19659003] The findings suggest that scientists have so far underestimated the role of fluxes in the control of greenhouse gases
8:24 EDT, July 2, 2018 |

Scientists have created the most detailed map yet of the Earth's extensive river systems, showing that these water masses cover much more of the surface than previously thought. [19659009] The Global River Widgets map was created using NASA satellite images and statistical methods to measure the length and width of rivers and streams around the world.

The new study suggests that scientists have underestimated the role of rivers in controlling atmospheric greenhouse gases.

  Scientists have created the most detailed map yet of the Earth's extensive river systems, revealing that these water masses cover much more of the surface than previously thought. The Map

Scientists have created the most detailed map yet of the Earth's extensive river systems, showing that these waters cover much more of the surface than previously thought. The "Global River Widgets" map was created using satellite imagery and NASA statistical methods. A close-up view of South American rivers is shown below

"We were able to measure over two million kilometers of rivers that were wider than 30 meters," said George Allen, a lecturer in geography at the College of Geosciences in Texas A & M.

There are many more narrow rivers than wide rivers, and we found that the relationship between river length and latitude is quite predictable. "

Not all rivers were wide enough to be measured by the images in the Landsat database, however.

When this was the case, the researchers used a statistical technique based on the fractal properties of river networks.

"We've all added rivers and streams around the world and an area larger than the size of Texas," Allen said. "The estimate was significantly larger than the previous best estimate, especially in the Arctic."

While the total area may have been larger than expected, there were also some surprises at the opposite end of the spectrum.

According to researchers, the surface of rivers and streams in more developed parts of the world has fallen short of expectations.

This is probably due to human activity.

"We believe there is less river water in these areas than humans alter the river system," Allen said.

  While the total area may have been larger than expected, there were also some surprises on the other side of the spectrum. According to the researchers, the surface areas of rivers and streams in more developed parts of the world fell short of expectations

While the total area was larger than expected, there were also some surprises on the other side of the spectrum. According to the researchers, the surface of rivers and streams in more developed parts of the world failed to meet expectations

"Water abstraction and containment could make rivers narrower and narrower than they otherwise would." [19659009] Since rivers and streams are known to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the researchers believe the new estimates must be considered.

"Greater overall global area means that rivers and rivers emit more gas into the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and methane currently represented by carbon cycle models," said Allen.

In addition to the understanding of greenhouse gases, the database could also contribute to the improvement of flood patterns and the classification of different waters.

"We see this database as a first step towards much more work," said Allen.

WHAT WILL CLIMATE CHANGE DO OUR OCEANS?

Climate change will contribute to ocean acidification, a (19659009) This change is due to higher greenhouse gas emissions as a result of human activities

Climate change affects the ocean in many ways.

  A recent study has found that methane flares in a region off the coast of Norway are not caused by climate change, as previously thought warn, however, that the human-induced effects of climate change are still ongoing (File photo)

A new study has shown that methane flares in a region off the coast of Norway are not caused by climate change as previously thought. However, scientists warn that the human-induced effects of climate change are still on hold (File photo)

It can cause sea levels to rise and corals to be stifled in the sea.

Climate change can also affect ocean currents and cause "bleak" water conditions with reduced amounts of light, according to the National Ocean Service.

The organization has provided the following tips to reduce the damage to the oceans:

  • Eat sustainable seafood.
  • Avoid throwing household chemicals into the sewers.
  • Drive as little as possible.
  • Recycle.
  • Prints less.
  • Help with beach cleanups.

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