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635M people globally at risk to sink

New York – In a study published in the journal Science 2024, researchers have warned that human activities are leading to sinking of the Earth’s surface and the phenomenon will affect 635 million people, mostly in Asia, with a total exposed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $9.78 trillion in the next four years. These activities include groundwater removal and other natural causes
It says 19 per cent of the world’s population – accounting for 21 per cent of the global GDP — will be impacted by subsidence, the sinking of the ground’s surface. They said it is “key first step toward formulating effective land-subsidence policies that are lacking in most countries worldwide.” Lead researcher Gerardo Herrera Garcia and his team performed a large-scale literature review that revealed that during the past century, land subsidence due to groundwater depletion occurred at 200 locations in 34 countries.
They further said: “Notably, the model also revealed that most of the 635 million inhabitants in subsistence-susceptible areas are located in Asia, with a total exposed GDP of $9.78 trillion. Policies that implement subsidence modeling in exposed areas, constant monitoring of high-risk areas, damage evaluation, and cost-effective countermeasures could help reduce the impacts of subsidence where it will hit hardest – namely, areas with increased population density, high groundwater demand, and irrigated areas suffering water stress.”

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