Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency describes how Earth is unique in our solar system for its ability to sustain liquid water on its surface. But now, the water cycle is shifting as the climate warms, and scientists must find ways to predict how these changes will affect water availability.
Overall, 96 percent of Earth’s water is saltwater, and nearly all of freshwater is found in ice and groundwater. These sources of water are linked as it passes through solid, liquid and gas phases.
In a warmer climate, the water cycle will be transformed. It will be easier for water to evaporate and form clouds, and storms will become more frequent and intense. Some regions will get too much water, while others will be left without enough water. In addition, soil moisture will be lost – which threatens food security.
Scientists are using satellite data from over the last 40 years to track changes that are happening in the water cycle. This will ultimately help us prepare for extreme events and better manage our water resources, according to ESA.
Video Credit: ESA
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor
Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and Earth.com.