Global Subsidence

If you’re worried about ice caps and glaciers melting in the Arctic and the Maldives most likely will be inundated from these things, you should be informed about the other perspective.

Subsidence is when the ground sinks because too much ground water is being drawn out before it’s replenished, mostly from rain.  Global subsidence is when subsidence occurs all over the world.

In a recent article on The Guardian about Beijing experiencing subsidence, there was a report on this that aired on 60 Minutes years ago.

Beijing has fallen: China’s capital sinking by 11cm a year, satellite study warns

Pumping of groundwater blamed for causing soil to collapse as development roars ahead above, with railways among infrastructure at risk, say scientists
Beijing’s bustling Chaoyang district as groundwater pumping causes the soil to collapse, satellite measurements show.
Beijing’s bustling Chaoyang district as groundwater pumping causes the soil to collapse, satellite measurements show. Photograph: EPA

Video clip from YouTube of Subsidence in California’s Central Valley, which has been greatly impacted by subsidence and appeared in the 60 Minutes report.

What stuck in my mind all of these years from the report on 60 Minutes was that it showed a map of the Earth and the color scheme resembles that for drought, like what Californians see a lot of when they watch their local news:

From the U.S. Drought Monitor

  • Dark red is exceptional drought
  • Red is extreme drought
  • Orange is severe drought
  • Beige is moderate drought
  • Yellow is abnormally dry

The map looked something like this (don’t click on the map to zoom because it won’t zoom.  Copy and paste the map’s caption to the source):

World map of drought severity

Given that dark red is on the areas that experience the severest drought, along what latitudes are they on? Or if you drew a rectangle on the map from left to right, where’s your rectangle?

So it’s not just California or Beijing or Mexico City experiencing subsidence, the world is experiencing subsidence.  I also remember from the report when the interviewee (a person probably worked with a team to develop that satellite to capture this) who said that the next war will not be over oil but will be over water.

Conserve water everyone.

Update (2/26/17):

It’s a coincidence that I happened upon 60 Minutes tonight and at the end, they had a brief update on subsidence, which also featured the name or title of that particular topic.  Did a search and here’s the link to it (also at the beginning of this post).


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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

4 thoughts on “Global Subsidence”

    1. Thank you so much for re-blogging this. If any of your followers happen to come across the video from 60 Minutes, I would love to put that in my post and give credit!


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