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10 Dec 2020, 13:51
Sören Amelang

Climate change heats up Bavaria's groundwater – study

dpa

Bavaria's groundwater has warmed significantly due to global warming, reports newswire dpa in an article carried by public broadcaster ZDF. At a depth of 20 metres, groundwater temperatures are almost one degree Celsius higher than they were 30 years ago, according to researchers from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The temperature increase at this depth was only slightly smaller than in the air, where it reached just above one degree. At a depth of 60 metres, the researchers registered an increase of 0.3 degrees. "In contrast to the atmosphere, the underground is very inert," said MLU geoscientist Peter Bayer, one of the authors of a study on the findings published in Frontiers in Earth Science. He added groundwater temperatures tend to show long-term trends, making them a good indicator of climate change.

The consequences of underground water heating are difficult to assess, Bayer said. But he added the rising temperatures put pressure on underground ecosystems that are adapted to very constant temperatures, affecting the growth of microbes, for example.

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