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New study shows climate change impact on the world’s water

Climate Progress reports, “According to new modeling by German researchers, global warming of just 2.7 degrees Celsius would inflict a ‘severe decrease in water resources’ on 15 percent of the global population.”

“The researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who carried out the modeling, chose as their central framework the RCP8.5 — a future scenario of global warming laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assumes a business-as-usual path for carbon emissions. …When the researchers looked for the greatest overlap between the results, they found that 1°C to 2°C of global warming drove up absolute water scarcity around the world by 40 percent.”

“As far as the changes for absolute levels of water scarcity, the researchers determined that 1.5 percent of the global population currently struggles with absolute water scarcity, and 3 percent faces chronic water scarcity. At 1°C of warming that rises to 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively; at 2°C it hits 9 percent and 21 percent; and at 3°C it reaches 12 percent and 24 percent of all people around the world.”

“The areas that were hardest-hit under the modeling were the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the southern United States, and southern China.”

The article notes, “Without drastic corrective action, and soon, the world is actually on track to blow past the 2°C of global warming scientists view as the threshold beyond which climate change becomes truly catastrophic.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has stated that our displacing, mistreating and abusing of water is also a cause of climate change, “We need a restoration strategy for water as a key mitigation factor.”

The Council of Canadians has on its calendar the next two United Nations climate summits (Lima, Peru in 2014; Paris, France in 2015) as possible points of intervention on this critical issue.

Further reading

Maude Barlow speaks on climate and water justice
‘Climate justice is water justice’, say Barlow and Moist
Barlow, Harden, Campero speak on the need for climate and water justice
Efforts to include water in climate talks gaining momentum
British envoy says recent uprisings a ‘prequel’ to climate change protests
Water availability to decline with climate change
The melting of the Athabasca Glacier, where climate and water justice meet