Australian Academic Wary About Finite Groundwater

Published online: Feb 02, 2006
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The world is on the edge of a human catastrophe because the groundwater that sustains half the Earth's population is running out, an Australian academic has warned.

Monash University
dean of engineering Lance Endersbee said that the planet's artesian water supplies are drying up because they are not replenished by the trickle down effect of rainwater, as most experts believe.

"Three billion people depend on deep groundwater for most of their drinking water and for growing food," Endersbee said. "But this water is running out at an unprecedented rate."

In a new book, Voyage of Discovery, he argues that the earth's supplies of groundwater are finite. Endersbee also defies conventional theories about global warming, and questions the assumption that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the past 100 years is the main cause of the apparent rise in the earth's surface temperature.

"The major causes of variations in climate are variations in heat flow from the interior of the earth, and variations in solar and cosmic radiation," he said. "These factors are not included in the present computer models of climate change.

"Carbon dioxide is given undue emphasis because it is one effect that can be included in the computer models of climate. However, increased carbon dioxide is relatively unimportant, compared with the smog caused by particles, chemical pollution and the great increase in water vapour over cities.

"Each city is creating its own pollution and causing its own warming. That means the control of warming should be directed at the source in cities."