Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
More than 500 million people might face increasing water scarcity
by Staff Writers
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Oct 11, 2013


The regions at risk under unabated global warming include the grasslands of Eastern India, shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau, the forests of Northern Canada, the savannas of Ethiopia and Somalia, and the Amazonian rainforest. Many of these are regions of rich and unique biodiversity.

This is shown by complementary studies now published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "We managed to quantify a number of crucial impacts of climate change on the global land area," says Dieter Gerten, lead-author of one of the studies.

Mean global warming of 2 degrees, the target set by the international community, is projected to expose an additional 8 percent of humankind to new or increased water scarcity. 3.5 degrees - likely to occur if national emissions reductions remain at currently pledged levels - would affect 11 percent of the world population. 5 degrees could raise this even further to 13 percent.

"If population growth continues, by the end of our century under a business-as-usual scenario these figures would equate to well over one billion lives touched," Gerten points out. "And this is on top of the more than one billion people already living in water-scarce regions today." Parts of Asia and North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable.

Even greater changes ahead for the green cover of our planet
For the green cover of our planet, even greater changes are in store. "The area at risk of ecosystem transformation is expected to double between global warming of about 3 and 4 degrees," says Lila Warszawski, lead author of another study that systematically compared different impact models - and the associated uncertainties - in order to gain a fuller picture of the possible consequences of climate change for natural ecosystems.

This is part of the international Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP).

A warming of 5 degrees, likely to happen in the next century if climate change goes on unabated, would put nearly all terrestrial natural ecosystems at risk of severe change. "So despite the uncertainties, the findings clearly demonstrate that there is a large difference in the risk of global ecosystem change under a scenario of no climate change mitigation compared to one of ambitious mitigation," says Sebastian Ostberg, lead author of the third study.

The regions at risk under unabated global warming include the grasslands of Eastern India, shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau, the forests of Northern Canada, the savannas of Ethiopia and Somalia, and the Amazonian rainforest. Many of these are regions of rich and unique biodiversity.

The combined changes to both water availability and ecosystems turn out to be nonlinear. "Our findings support the assertion that we are fundamentally destabilizing our natural systems - we are leaving the world as we know it," says Wolfgang Lucht, one of the authors and co-chair of PIK's Research Domain of Earth System Analysis.

"This is not about ducks and daisies, but the very basis of life"

The studies use a novel methodological approach, introducing new measures of risk based on changes of vegetation structure and flows and stores of carbon and water. To this end, biosphere simulation models were used to compare hundreds of climate change scenarios and highlight which regions may first face critical impacts of climate change.

"The increase in water scarcity that we found will impact on the livelihoods of a huge number of people, with the global poor being the most vulnerable," says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, one of the co-authors and director of PIK.

This might get buffered to some extent through adaptation measures such as expanding of irrigated cropland. However, such an expansion would further increase the pressure on Earth's ecosystems and water resources.

"Now this is not a question of ducks and daisies, but of our unique natural heritage, the very basis of life. Therefore, greenhouse-gas emissions have to be reduced substantially, and soon."

Article: Gerten, D., Lucht, W., Ostberg, S., Heinke, J., Kowarsch, M., Kreft, H., Kundzewicz, Z.W., Rastgooy, J., Warren, R., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2013): Asynchronous exposure to global warming: freshwater resources and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental Research Letters, 8 [doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034032]

Article: Ostberg, S., Lucht, W., Schaphoff, S., Gerten, D. (2013): Critical impacts of global warming on land ecosystems. Earth System Dynamics, 4, 541-565, [doi:10.5194/esdd-4-541-2013]

.


Related Links
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Plastic waste is a hazard for subalpine lakes too
London, UK (SPX) Oct 09, 2013
Many subalpine lakes may look beautiful and even pristine, but new evidence suggests they may also be contaminated with potentially hazardous plastics. Researchers say those tiny microplastics are likely finding their way into the food web through a wide range of freshwater invertebrates too. The findings, based on studies of Italy's Lake Garda and reported on October 7th in Current Biolog ... read more


WATER WORLD
Smart smoke alarm can speak, warn of smoke, carbon monoxide

European satellites included in test of search-and-rescue system

Indonesia to boost patrols against people smugglers

'Ship in a bottle' detects dangerous vapors

WATER WORLD
Ultraviolet light to the extreme

Quantum computers: Trust is good, proof is better

Ultrasound system gives virtual feeling of objects in mid-air

Himawari and Mitsubishi Electric Complete Facilities For Weather Satellite Ops

WATER WORLD
Fishermen, farmers secure livelihoods ahead of Indian cyclone

More than 500 million people might face increasing water scarcity

University teams with industry to build deep-sea submersible

Improving water security with blue, green, and gray water

WATER WORLD
Brazil to start work on new Antarctic base next year

US shutdown puts freeze on Antarctic research

Giant channels discovered beneath Antarctic ice shelf

Government shutdown threatens U.S. antarctic research

WATER WORLD
Rural land use policies curb wildfire risks - to a point

New potential for nutrient-rich prairie fruits

European retailers embrace crooked fruit, ugly veggies

Google Street View is new arm against alien species

WATER WORLD
Strong quake strikes near Crete, material damage reported

Quake hits southwest Pakistan: officials

13 dead, millions without power as typhoon hits Philippines

Extrusive volcanism formed the Hawaiian Islands

WATER WORLD
Islamists step up attacks in north Mali

Ethiopia says no plans to withdraw troops from Somalia

'Armed bandits' kill Niger soldier, wound three others in Nigeria: official

Nigeria bombs Boko Haram 'camp' near site of massacre

WATER WORLD
Primate brains follow predictable development pattern

Longer life for humans linked to further loss of endangered species

Council of Europe attacks genetic procedure

Ancient sagas show Vikings more social, less warlike




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement