Thursday, October 05, 2006

Drought Will Double To Hit Half The World By 2100

Last year was the warmest year at the Earth's surface since records began in the 1860s according to NASA, and new estimates state that temperatures could rise by 3 degrees Celsius this century triggering floods, droughts and famine. And yes, that IS a big deal for this fragile planet and for those species that live on it. There have been a myriad of reports from organizations all over this planet warning us of the repercussions of our actions and inactions. How many more will have to come out before we realize that what we are doing is causing irreparable harm to our only home?

If you have read any of my previous entries here you know for a fact that conditions in many parts of this world are already at a crisis stage regarding water resources and drought. Just alone on this small blog I have reported about the U.S. West as well as receding water in the Great Lakes and other areas, Canada, Mexico, The Middle East, Spain, Australia, Africa, Asia, South America, and other parts of Europe.

And I have also written about the violence that has ensued due to tribal wars over water, government intervention over the resources, privatization, and dams being built that divert water from indigenous peoples that take away their farmland, flood sacred landmarks, and do environmental damage. There are also reports of blatant corruption in government regarding water resource management.

I have also written about the droughts that have literally dried up rivers to the point where there is no water left (Such as the case of the Moreau River in South Dakota.) This is real, not just something I write about to take up time. I write about it because it is happening and because I believe people must know it is happening before they can take action to stop it. And I write about it because water is life and we are abusing it, wasting it, and using it as a weapon of greed, all to the detriment of our own future and that of future generations. And it cannot go on.

Some claim incredulity regarding the "water wars" warning, because they believe humans will always work out agreements regarding water resources because it is so much needed by all... sort of the MAD nuclear excuse. I would love to believe that would always be the case, but I don't see that in the future if present circumstances worsen as it is already happening now. There will come a point when the goodwill of men will run out unless we reign in the forces leading us to that point.
Drought Will Double To Hit Half The World By 2100

By Ed Crooks, Energy Editor
Tue Oct 3, 3:30 PM ET

The incidence of moderate drought will double to affect half the world by the end of the century unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, according to a study backed by the British government.

Computer modelling of the effect of global warming on water levels conducted by the Met Office, Britain's official weather forecaster, also suggests that severe droughts could rise sharply, in the absence of action to limit emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels.

Worsening water shortages threaten to create growing problems of starvation and international conflict.

The Met Office predictions, to be published shortly in a US journal, are based on a projection of reasonably strong global economic growth, with no mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. In that scenario, global temperatures rise by 1.3 to 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

That would mean moderate drought - defined as water levels experienced during the driest fifth of months in a region in the past 50 years - occurring about 50 per cent of the time, the model indicates.

It also suggests a rise in extreme drought from 1 per cent at present to 30 per cent by the end of the century: although the Met Office scientists warned that they had less confidence in this prediction, as it was based on only a relatively small number of observations.

The incidence of moderate drought has already risen from about 15 per cent in the 30 or so years after 1950 to about 25 per cent today.

Because the definition of "drought" varies from place to place, its effects will differ.

Vicky Pope, head of the climate programme at the Met Office's Hadley Centre, said: "In the UK a drought could mean a hosepipe ban and other restrictions in water use. In Africa, it could mean people not having enough water to live."

The rise in drought predicted by the model is not uniform worldwide but is not confined to any specific continent or region, she said. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the areas seen as suffering from more frequent droughts.

Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, who discussed the Met Office findings at a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday, said: "Millions in Africa are already living under the shadow of drought.

Even small changes in rainfall can have severe negative effects. This research . . . reveals a fundamental disconnect between the scale of the problem and the current political response."
Do you really have to see the images to be moved?



United States



Australia, Pakistan

And lack of water caused by drought, that is now being exacerbated by human behavior causes famine, the silent killer of millions:

Is this truly the world you want for these innocent people and their children? For your children?
Is wasting it now worth it?

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