A massive water leak from a pipe in New Mexico has left water in the atmosphere at the highest levels ever recorded.
The water level in the US has been at an all-time high in January, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The leak, which was discovered in October, was detected in the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of a small channel and is one of the largest water leaks on record, according with NOAA.
Water levels have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past month.
“There’s not much we can do about it,” said Jim Kappel, a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“It’s like an epidemic, and the worst of it is coming from a well that is under the sea.”
The water leak, at a well in the community of Pico Rivera, New Mexia, had been detected by two scientists working for the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
The scientists, who were part of a team that was studying the effects of global warming on the sea, had planned to spend the next three days collecting data from a surface observation station on the coast.
However, the scientists noticed the water level dropping below the ocean’s surface and they called their supervisor, Jim Knebel.
“Jim said ‘you’re going to have to do a test’,” Mr Kappels said.
“I said ‘I’m not doing that.
You need to go out and find out what’s going on’.” Mr Kneel had been a geologist for decades and had been following the sea-level rise from a satellite.
He had previously noticed an increase in the sea level in northern California, but Mr Kneckler was impressed by the level drop at the Pico River well.
“We had an ocean temperature change and we knew there was a water level increase there,” he said.
The scientists decided to test the pipe.
“They started measuring the temperature,” Mr Kneel said.
“It was very, very cold.
They were measuring the pressure in the pipe and we were measuring water temperature,” he continued.
The pressure in Mr Kurnel’s pipe is around 2.7 bar, the highest recorded in the history of the United States.
The pressure at the well was 3.4 bar, and a similar pressure change was recorded at the nearby Salida well, which is also in New Mexias territory.
“At 3.5 bar, you’d get a much, much more significant temperature change,” Mr Neel said.
This pressure change of 3.7bar was the lowest recorded by any US-based monitoring station.
The temperature at the site was only about 5.6 degrees Centigrade, which translates into a temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius.
“So the fact that you could see the pressure drop by more then 10 degrees C in that short time, that’s remarkable,” Mr Ollila said.
Scientists are also surprised by the water temperature, as well as how quickly it dropped.
“The water temperature drop was so fast, that it was not even noticeable,” Mr Knolle said.
Mr Knollle said the pressure at Pico was about 5-6 bar, while the Salida pipe was about 6-7 bar.
Mr Knele said he is confident that the temperature drop is caused by the temperature at Pisco, as opposed to any other factor.
“As a result of that, there’s no doubt that we were under water,” he added.
The team of scientists have not been able to determine the cause of the water leak.
However Mr Knole said the researchers have found other evidence that points to the possibility of an anthropogenic cause.
At the time of the leak, the sea was currently below 4.4 metres (13 feet) deep.
A team of oceanographers have already suggested that the cause could be a global warming phenomenon known as the Holocene Thermal Maximum.
This is when temperatures are much warmer than they have been in the last 5 million years, which in turn results in higher water temperatures.
“This event was not caused by climate change,” said Dr Matthew Burdett, a geoscientist at the University of Queensland, Australia.
However, the leak was not the only water leak that has been reported to the scientists.
On November 9, the NOAA released a study that estimated that more than 5 billion tonnes of water could be lost from the sea in the next five years due to global warming.
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