Articles | Volume 23, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3933–3944, 2019
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3933–3944, 2019

Research article 25 Sep 2019

Research article | 25 Sep 2019

Global-scale human pressure evolution imprints on sustainability of river systems

Serena Ceola et al.

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Cited articles

Barnett, T., Pierce, D., Hidalgo, H., Bonfils, C., Santer, B., Das, T., Bala, G., Wood, A., Nozawa, T., Mirin, A., Cayan, D., and Dettinger, M.: Human-induced changes in the hydrology of the western United States, Science, 319, 1080–1083,, 2008. a
Bennie, J., Davies, T., Duffy, J., Inger, R., and Gaston, K.: Contrasting trends in light pollution across Europe based on satellite observed night time lights, Scient. Rep., 4, 3789,, 2014. a
Cauwels, P., Pestalozzi, N., and Sornette, D.: Dynamics and spatial distribution of global nighttime lights, EPJ Data Sci., 3, 2,, 2014. a
Ceola, S., Laio, F., and Montanari, A.: Satellite nighttime lights reveal increasing human exposure to floods worldwide, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 7184–7190,, 2014. a, b, c
Ceola, S., Laio, F., and Montanari, A.: Human-impacted waters: New perspectives from global high-resolution monitoring, Water Resour. Res., 51, 7064–7079,, 2015. a, b
Short summary
A simple and effective index for the quantitative estimation of the evolution of human pressure on rivers at global scale is proposed. This index, based on nightlights and river discharge data, shows a significant increase from 1992 to 2013 worldwide. The most notable changes are found in river basins across Africa and Asia, where human pressure on rivers is growing markedly. This index identifies priority areas that can be targeted for the implementation of mitigation strategies and plans.