Water scarcity will be amplified 40 percent by climate change, study says.
Study: Climate Change Could Put Millions More at Risk of Water Scarcity
Changes in rainfall and evaporation will put pressure on water resources
Although water scarcity is already a problem in many countries today due to factors like population growth, the effects of global warming could put millions more people at risk of absolute water scarcity, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
The study, published Monday in a special issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that water resources will be affected by changes in rainfall and evaporation due to climate change, putting 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity.
[READ: Consequences of Global Warming Could Occur Soon, Report Says]
"We conclude that the combination of unmitigated climate change and further population growth will expose a significant fraction of the world population to chronic or absolute water scarcity," the study says.
Now, between one and two people out of 100 live in countries with absolute water scarcity, which is defined as less than 500 cubic meters of water available per year and per person, according to the study. On average, each person consumes about 1,200 cubic meters of water each year. But population growth combined with the effects of global warming could bring the ratio of people living in countries with absolute water scarcity up to about 10 in 100 people.
"The quantities that most humans need for drinking and sanitation are relatively small, and the fact that these basic needs are not satisfied for many people today is primarily a matter of access to, and quality of, available water resources," the study says.
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Unless greenhouse gas emissions get cut soon, this situation could become reality “within the next few decades,” Jacob Schewe, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
But because climate change does not have the same effect across or even within certain countries, some areas will be hit harder than others. The Mediterranean, the Middle East, the southern United States and southern China, for example, could see a “pronounced decrease of available water,” while southern India, western China, and parts of eastern Africa could see an increase.
To account for the uncertainty of climate change – the magnitude of its effects and water scarcity changes at a regional level – the researchers used 11 hydrological models, produced by five different global climate models. The results in the study represent the multiple-model average.
"The purpose is to explore the associated uncertainties and to synthesize the current state of knowledge about the impact of climate change on renewable water resources at the global scale," the study says.
[ALSO: Warming Waters Will Harm Freshwater Fish and Thousands of Jobs, Report Says]
While the average level of water scarcity resulting from population change alone is amplified by 40 percent with climate change, some models suggested the amplification could be as high as 100 percent.
"This dwindling per-capita water availability is likely to pose major challenges for societies to adapt their water use and management," the study says.
Warmer Climate causes Greener Arctic
Researchers say, elevated temperatures and a longer growing season mean some of Earth’s chilliest regions are looking increasingly green.
As reported and base from the new study, at present the plant life at northern latitudes often looks like the vegetation researchers would have observed up to 430 miles (700 kilometers) farther south in 1982.
“It’s like Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Minneapolis-Saint Paul in only 30 years,” study researcher Compton Tucker of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement.
A team of university and NASA scientists including Tucker looked at 30 years’ worth of satellite and land surface data on vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. The researchers suggest that, in this region, large patches of lush vegetation now stretch over an area about the size of the continental United States and resemble what was found 4 to 6 latitude degrees to the south in 1982.
“Higher northern latitudes are getting warmer, Arctic sea ice and the duration of snow cover are diminishing, the growing season is getting longer and plants are growing more,” climate scientist Ranga Myneni of Boston University said in a statement, adding that the changes are leading to great disruptions for the region’s ecosystems.
In the precedent several decades the Arctic has been warming more rapidly than the rest of any part of earth. An amplified greenhouse effect is largely to blame for the changes in plant life, says Myneni. In this succession, high concentrations of heat-trapping gasses drive up temperatures in the ocean and atmosphere. This warming trims down Arctic sea ice and snow cover, reason for the oceans and land surfaces in the region to be exposed this is also because the ice and snow are more reflective than darker surfaces. These surfaces soak up more heat from the sun’s rays, so further heating of the air and further reduction of sea ice and snow emerge as a consequence. Myneni warns that the cycle could get worse.
“The greenhouse effect could be further amplified in the future as soils in the north thaw, releasing potentially significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane,” Myneni said.
Because of the rising temperatures Arctic and boreal regions could see the equivalent of a 20-degree latitude shift by the end of this century, the team found this out using climate models. The amplified greenhouse effect could have other consequences, like more forest fires, pest infestations and droughts, which cut vegetation growth, researchers say.
The Great Renewable Energy Scam: Is There A Change In The Wind?
People don’t like being forced to purchase things they may not want, which is why over half of us are hoping that the Supreme Court throws out the individual insurance mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care plan.
There’s also a worldwide rebellion brewing against being forced to purchase expensive electricity produced by so-called “renewable” sources, now being exacerbated by the availability of very cheap natural gas from shale formations.
But, here in the U.S. there are some 30 different statewide “renewable portfolio standards” (RPSs) that also mandate pricey power, usually under the guise of fighting dreaded global warming.
RPSs command that a certain percentage of electricity has to come from wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass. Given that this power generally costs a lot more than what comes from a modern coal or gas plant, your local utility passes the cost on in the form of higher bills, which the various state utility commissions are only too happy to approve in the name of saving the planet.
RPSs generally do not include hydroelectric power, which produces no carbon dioxide. It’s also much more predictable than solar or wind, and costs about the same as the average for gas and coal combined. It’s not in the portfolio standards because dams are soooo 20th century, and it isn’t a darling of the green lobby, like solar, wind and biomass. But hydro can deliver more juice than solar is ever likely to.
Nor do RPSs allow for natural gas. There are massive quantities in shale formations around the country, and new horizontal drilling techniques are releasing so much of it that it is now the cheapest source of electrical power. If our environmentalist friends were at all serious about climate change, they would enthuse over it because it produces significantly less carbon dioxide than an equivalent quantity of coal when used for power generation. Instead, they are horrified that cheap gas will destroy solar and wind.
The recent rejection of a request of the defence ministry by the Union environment ministry to allow setting up of a radar in Narcondum Island in the Andaman Sea raises the question of whether in this country security of the nation is of paramount importance or whether the environmental issues can override it. It becomes all the more important when we see total abdication of issues of environmental abuse by the government.
However, so far the debate has been between environment and industrial growth but now the debate has moved to a more serious issue of environment and national security which is a matter of greater concern.
That there is large scale violation of environment in this country is a known fact. The ministry of environment is either conniving or watching helplessly, whichever way the reader wants to accept it. The mining mafia, supported by political-bureaucratic nexus is indulging in the rape of forests violating all forms of environment laws and hardly any action is being taken against any individual or company. Some activists with conviction have fought cases against the mining mafia and inaction of government and in some cases got favourable judgements.
The pollution control agencies responsible for the welfare of various rivers are a scandal. Yamuna and Ganga River Control Authorities have spent thousands of crores for cleaning up rivers with pollution in them only getting worse. This state of affairs has no justification when we see that in other democratic countries like England where river Thames at London, which was once so polluted that no fish could survive, has now become a pollution free river. Similar is the case with many rivers all over the world. Why is it that we are unable to control such an environment disaster? The simple answer is corruption. Corruption has seeped into the innards of our bureaucratic system and every aspect of bureaucracy needs a deep cleansing.
After having succumbed to all sorts of environmental scams, the ministry of environment in its effort they feel very elated when they recently denied the Indian Navy/Coast Guard to put up radars at Narcondom Island of the Andaman archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. A look at the map of Andaman Islands in the atlas will convince any lay person the critical importance of having a radar in this crucial and isolated island which juts out 160 km of the Andaman archipelago facing Myanmar.
Flood refugees begin returning to Jakarta; Indonesia braces for more rain
Jakarta is often beset with flooding, but heavy rains and commercial developments made the past week’s flooding especially widespread, and also especially egalitarian — inundating the homes of both the poor and the wealthy.
A week of severe flooding in Jakarta is beginning to subside and refugees are starting to return to damaged homes and businesses.
At least 20 people died in the flood and 46,000 became homeless. More rain is forecast this weekend.
At its peak on Jan. 17, the water in some areas reached above six feet. Public transportation and traffic came to a halt forcing businesses to shut down.
“At the time, the water reached some places that previously were never (flooded), such as the presidential palace and the main road of Jakarta in Sudirman-Thamrin,” said Wahyu Dhyatmika, managing editor of the online news portal Tempo.co. “Even the city landmark (the Hotel Indonesia’s roundabout) became a large pond of dark brown water.”
Environmental journalist Harry Surjadi painted a grim picture in an email on Friday.
“I can say that Jakarta has collapsed,” he said. “The rain has stopped at night but I can see that a grey cloud is covering Jakarta.”
The boiler system was designed to highlight how biomass can reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Visitors can see the boiler operate through specially designed windows. In the hall just outside of the boiler room, the noise level and ambient temperature is consistent with the rest of the building.
Fuel costs have been cut by two-thirds. The densified pucks are used with almost no residual ash; eventually, however, tree clippings from the Ketchikan walking trails will be ground and fed into the boiler, eliminating the need for transport to a landfill, burning, and other methods of disposal.
Figure 1 THE BOILER
The system easily can be replicated for heat or heat/power generation up to 20,000 kw. In June 2011, Smith served as a keynote speaker for the fifth annual Native American Economic Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif., where he described the initiatives being implemented in Ketchikan and shared success stories of biomass-fired boiler systems installed on institutional campuses and in manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, particularly in challenging and remote locations. Systems include municipal solid waste, as well as woody biomass for steam production and steam to power.
WASTE MANAGEMENT ORDERED TO PAY $376K
BOSTON - A Texas-based waste disposal company has been ordered to pay more than $376,000 in fines and restitution for violations of prevailing wage laws, Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
Waste Management Inc. was cited for charging employees for health care coverage they did not receive, Coakley said.
From June 2008 through June 2011, Waste Management made deductions from the prevailing wage for employees who had opted out of the company’s health and welfare plans.
Waste Management agreed to pay back 56 employees for the costs of unwanted benefits that had been deducted from their wages.
AD AGENCY MOVES TO INDUSTRIAL PARK
PLYMOUTH - ViaMark Advertising has relocated to an expanded office at 5 Aldrin Road in Plymouth Industrial Park.
The move was necessitated by expanded staff and plans to open more franchise offices throughout New England. The company was at Cordage Commerce Center for the last seven years.
The company chose to remain in Plymouth because of its proximity to Boston, Providence and Cape Cod, the media markets that it has identified as ripe for franchise growth, founder Glenn Anderson said. The agency handles more than 100 accounts from Massachusetts to Florida, specializing in creative services, media placement and radio, TV, print, outdoor and online advertising.
NATIONAL GRID WARNS CUSTOMERS ABOUT SCAM
WALTHAM - National Grid warned that a payment scam is targeting customers in New England.
Scammers claiming to be National Grid representatives have been calling customers and asking them to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card to pay balances or for meter replacement. The scammers ask for a 14-digit security code on the card and use it to access funds on the pre-paid credit card.
National Grid is not conducting a Green Dot MoneyPak program. Customers who have been solicited should notify local law enforcement and National Grid, the utility said. Electric customers in New England should call 800-322-3223. Natural gas customers in Massachusetts should call 1-800-732-3400.
NIKE ENDS RELATIONSHIP WITH LANCE ARMSTRONG
BEAVERTON, Ore. - Nike has severed ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong, citing evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade.
The clothing and footwear company said Wednesday that it was terminating Armstrong’s contract “with great sadness.”
Armstrong said Wednesday, just minutes before the announcement from Nike, that he was stepping down as chairman of his Livestrong cancer-fighting charity so the organization can steer clear of the whirlwind surrounding its founder.
Nike Inc. said it plans to continue its support for Livestrong. Anheuser-Busch and the sunglasses company Oakley have already pledged ongoing support for the organization.
Fraudsters attack even natural disasters victims
-Natural Disasters Victims: Scammers Wait until we are in our Lowest
Opportunists prey on natural disasters’ victims and even those who want to help. They would not miss any single chance that they could profit something from any kind of people by taking advantage of their weaknesses. Victims are at their most desperate state and scammers see this as an opportunity to deceive them.