Lack of Fresh Water and Impact on Human Activity… Global Warming, Droughts, Flods…

Climate change is about water climate adaptation and is about managing water more effectively.

Founded in September 2010, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation is a group of regional and global development banks, aid agencies and governments, and a diverse set of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on how to manage water resources in way that is sustainable even as climate change alters the global hydrological cycle. We believe that water is a crosscutting theme that provides coherence to climate change adaptation and mitigation, integrating energy, water, food production and agriculture, and ecosystems and the environment.

What is Global Warming is only part of the story and it does not tell us when this might happen. What we do know is that global warming has occurred in the past, and it is also happening right now. Undoubtedly the temperature of the globe has fluctuated since the very beginnings of our planet. The real problem is not just the fact that it is warming, but also the rate at which it is warming. The ten warmest years since global temperatures have been measured all occur within the last 12-year period between 1997-2008. But that is the recent past, and scientists are suggesting that the current rapid rate of warming has no parallel within the last million years. Even when the globe did warm towards the end of an ice age the process was very gradual, warming up over a period of about 5,000 years. Our Earth is heating up, and heating up quickly.

The atmosphere surrounding the earth is mainly composed of Nitrogen (about seventy eight percent, and Oxygen (twenty one percent) with water vapor and various trace gases making up the rest. There are quite a few trace gases, such as; Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon, Helium, Methane, Hydrogen, Nitrous Oxide and Ozone. These gases are often called green house gases because during the day the earth soaks up heat, and these gases act like a greenhouse trapping in the heat. Some of the heat is radiated back out into space, and if were not for these gases things would freeze over during the night. The issue of course is the increase in greenhouse gases, which is trapping in more heat, and causing a rise in global temperature.

The rate at which the planet is warming is possibly the single biggest challenge to ever face humanity. The impacts are likely devastating, we need to act decisively, and act now. So what is global warming? It is a disaster of our own making. A smart idea would be to stop cutting our forests down. And what if we had algae farms making biodiesel?

The research by a man often called the “godfather of global warming” says that the likelihood of such temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by NASA scientist James Hansen. He says that statistically what’s happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change. “This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact,” Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.

In a blunt departure from most climate research, Hansen’s study based on statistics, not the more typical climate modeling blames these three heat waves purely on global warming:

  • Last year’s devastating Texas-Oklahoma drought.
  • The 2010 heat waves in Russia and the Middle East, which led to thousands of deaths.
  • The 2003 European heat wave blamed for tens of thousands of deaths, especially among the elderly in France.

The increase in the chance of extreme heat, drought and heavy downpours in certain regions is so huge that scientists should stop hemming and hawing, Hansen said. “This is happening often enough, over a big enough area that people can see it happening,” he said. However climate change is happening right before our eyes.
If we do not take note of the alarming rate of growing global warming then our earth might cease to exist someday. The water resources have been heavily affected by the global warming phenomenon. Sea levels have risen, glaciers retreats are taking place often and the most harmful affect is the shrinking of the Arctic Circle. This phenomenon has caused concerns among all the sectors and geo-engineering is considered to be a way of mitigation.

The glacier rich areas like Western North America, Asia, Alps, Indonesia and Africa are suffering badly due to global warming. The melting of glaciers in these regions has raised concerns regarding the increase in water levels. Ocean circulation also suffers due to global warming. The oceans act as the absorber of carbon dioxide and when it reaches the saturation point it fails to absorb any more carbon dioxide. As a result the ocean surface becomes warm.

Acidification of ocean is caused due to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is an indirect effect of global warming causing distress to people worldwide. The rise in sea level would cause infiltration of the saline water into the groundwater. This will pose as a potential danger for the health of the living organisms.

Water is essential for human existence. It is also used for various other purposes like generating electricity from the hydro electrical power plants. These hydroelectricity plants require the water current, which is derived from the fast flowing rivers. But with the increase in global warming the rivers are unable to maintain their flow causing a decline in the production of electricity. Water levels in reservoirs and aquifers are also decreasing due to the increase in global warming. This would lead to grave consequences at homes and workplaces as well as the agricultural sector of the different countries since the rate of evaporation would increases with hotter summers. Water cycle is important for any kind of human activity and global warming would adversely affect this cycle causing a disturbance in the human activities as well as the climatic changes. Global warming might also lead to floods. The water levels in many regions would lower due to excessive evaporation and this would cause in torrential downpours increasing the chance of deluge.

The acceleration in the phenomenon of global warming has caused the ice sheets in the West Antarctic Circle and Greenland to shrink. Carbon sediments have been released in the air and due to the increase of carbon emission the reduction in the ice sheets has taken place. This reduction might cause a huge flood around the world. By the end of twenty first century the water in the sea is expected to rise by 7.1- 23.2 inches.

3 percent of the water on Earth is fresh and most of that is locked up in glaciers or deep underground. Imagine all of the world’s water oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers was represented by something the size of a standard globe; its fresh water would be just a marble-sized drop. Fresh water also harbors the greatest concentration of life on Earth greater than either terrestrial or marine biomes. Though it covers less than a fraction of 1 percent of the Earth’s surface, fresh water provides habitat for more than 10 percent of known animals and about one-third of all known vertebrate species. And, more than 40 percent of all fish species are found in fresh water even though it is, relatively speaking, a drop in the bucket.

Americans consume 99 gallons of water daily. And one out of six gallons served by U.S. water utilities finds its way back to the ground, leaking out of pipes or otherwise wasted. We protect only 35 percent of the upland areas that secure delivery of freshwater services downstream.

An ever-worsening water crisis demands that we respond with combined water efficiency and ecosystem management solutions to maintain freshwater species and services. Failure is simply not an option at the current rate; we will degrade the remaining 11 percent of ecosystems that provide us with fresh water services by 2050. Changes in treaties and institutional policies are important, but effective and real change must occur in actual places to have credibility.

Freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity are not sufficiently protected. There are currently some 126,000 freshwater-dependent species across the planet, whose future remains uncertain. Although 1,218 inland wetland sites have been designated mostly under the international Ramsar convention designation alone does not ensure the protection of freshwater biodiversity. Effective management and financing is necessary across these critical ecosystems and watersheds to ensure the provision of fresh water when and where it’s needed. There are also vast areas of freshwater wilderness, requiring sound and careful management to preserve global stocks of freshwater resources. Effective management is made more complex by the fact that water crosses political and biophysical boundaries, with more than two-thirds of our planet’s 260 river basins shared by two or more countries.

Therefore, we must build partnerships and agreements among national governments and civil society that encompass entire watersheds, including the origin and end point of freshwater flows and services. Better management using IWRM will also allow us to maximize the freshwater services benefits and develop greener economies. We also can better take care of the water necessary to sustain our freshwater ecosystems, or “environmental flows.” Ecologists generally recommend that we keep 80 percent of our water in rivers to sustain environmental flows, yet allocations can be as low as 10 percent.

Improving drinking water supply. Water should be recognized as a great priority. One of the main objectives of the World Water Council is to increase awareness of the water issue. Decision-makers at all levels must be implicated. One of the Millennium Development Goals is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

To that aim, several measures should be taken:

  • Guarantee the right to water;
  • Decentralize the responsibility for water;
  • Develop know-how at the local level;
  • Increase and improve financing;
  • Evaluate and monitor water resources.

With the current state of affairs, correcting measures still can be taken to avoid the crisis to be worsening. There is a increasing awareness that our freshwater resources are limited and need to be protected both in terms of quantity and quality. This water challenge affects not only the water community, but also decision-makers and every human being. “Water is everybody’s business” was one the key messages of the 2nd World Water Forum.
With the use of our GreenDustries products the PleatPak and Magic Bag; we prevent over 110 Billions Litters of Water from pollutants each year.

“There is a water crisis today. But the crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. It is a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people – and the environment – suffer badly.” World Water Vision Report.

Sources:
worldwatercouncil.org
Conservation.org
Huffingtonpost.com
AGWA.org
NASA.org

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  1. Remember Global Warming is, in its natrual prsoecs, the swing from Ice Age, which we are only feeling as the last vestages melt away, to Tropic Age, which is the natrual expansion of the tropical forests and jungles. The forests are to the Tropic Age as the Ice Caps are to the Ice Age.The problem is we are cutting down the trees. The older trees are cut the fastest, and they are the ones that are most critical to the tropic age water storeage.While we can desalinate sea water and provide the irrigation support needed to provide the food supplies, much will have to change in our living styles. We would have to remove our building in Green Zones and use up the desert lands instead for our industries and housing. We would also have to establish multistoried evironmentally maintained growing houses for much of our food supplies.There will be mixed blessings from our forray into the Tropic Age, but we are here, and it will be here for quite some time.We have only been in the Tropic Age for a short time. Weather will be strange as the weather system adjusts. There will be, as there always have been, moments of quickening where things go really haywire. But they will always move to a settled down state for a while as well.The biggest concerns right now are how to keep our society moving forward in the face of vanishing resources (oil is going to be gone in 10 15 years, more or less).

  2. Earth has always seen an insreace in world temperatures. This is the evolution of the earth from being an icy planet to the days that we are living now. It is a natural phenomena. Global warming as claimed by the scientist are caused by gases like CO2, CH4 etc. One of the main contributors of CO2 emission are human beings, animals, plants, transport sectors and industrial activities. In cold and icy climates, to insreace the crop yield, often you require heat and light, which is the fundamental process for photosynthesis. So, artificial greenhouse effect is created for the plants, which in turn insreaces the heat for the plants. So, if there are natural global arming, may be plants will be benefited during winter times. But that may also sound negative during the other seasons.

    • Dominique
    • September 13th, 2012

    Hi Ratheesh, I do completely agree with you. We experience the normal warming of the planet + the side effect of 7, 000,000,000, humans life’s and all what come with it…..
    We are at a road mark where we need badly new clean technologies to be installed, up and running. We cannot keep investing in the old technologies who brought us where we are today.
    When the world will get it???I hope not too late.
    Happy to talk to you, kindly.
    Dominique

    • Dominique
    • September 13th, 2012

    Hi,
    It’s very encouraging to see others passionate just like me about our planet.The only issue that I see is too switch as quickly as possible all the technologies from the “industrial Revolution” to clean, earth friendly technologies, who already exist and are been ignored.
    Why ignored? greed, power, political interest ext…
    It’s for people like you and me to push our people in power to change their way….
    http://greendustriesblog.com/greendustries/2011/06/30/the-amazing-nanotechnology/#en
    http://greendustriesblog.com/greendustries/2011/06/16/whats-hot-cold-fusion/
    http://greendustriesblog.com/greendustries/2011/06/10/geothermal-energy/
    http://greendustriesblog.com/greendustries/2011/06/01/the-power-of-the-sun-free-energy/
    It’s not that we do not have what to replace everything with, it’s that most people do not care!This exactly why this blog exist.
    Thank you, kindly.
    Dominique

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