SLU news

The large impact by humans on the water cycle

Published: 17 May 2021
Portrait of a man. Photo.

Deforestation in Congo might reduce the flows in the Nile.

In June 2019 an article was published in Nature Geosciences which pointed out that diagrams of the water cycle are wrong since the large human influence is missing. One of the co-authors was Kevin Bishop from the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU. In the article it was also noted that many researchers use the erroneous traditional diagram of the water cycle.

One of the leading science newsletters in Germany has recently published a long report about “The disturbed water cycle” and highlighted the article in Nature Geosciences. In the report is also the research that Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot has made in co-operation with among others Kevin Bishop. They have for example published an article which points out that deforestation also outside the catchment area of the Nile might influence the water flows in the Nile. This is because possible impact on the precipitation over the important Nile source in the Ethiopian highland.

Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot defended his thesis about forest hydrology in the catchment area of the Nile in 2012 at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU. Today he works at the Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources at Addis Ababa University.

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