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Science Bulletins: Water Underground





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Published on May 1, 2012

Texas endured its driest year ever in 2011, and southern Alabama and Georgia have continued to suffer serious drought in 2012. Climate change is predicted to make drought more frequent in the southern United States, putting a strain on groundwater resources. This visualization reveals the freshwater stores that NASA's GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite detects from space and shows how that data can be used to evaluate groundwater gains and losses, critical information in the effort to conserve the water that people depend upon. For background information, educational resources, and more, visit Water Underground on the Science Bulletins Web site:

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

Special thanks to Matthew Rodell, Hiroko Kato Beaudoing, and Bailing Li of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

This visualization was produced by the American Museum of Natural History under award NA10SEC0080014 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Related Links

AMNH Science Bulletins: GRACE—Tracking Water from Space

International Association of Hydrogeologists: About Groundwater

National Drought Mitigation Center

NASA Earth Observatory: Texas Groundwater Severely Depleted (December 1, 2011)

Water 50/50 blog: A Drought of Texas-Size Proportions


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