Water scarcity will hit hundreds of millions of additional people by 2100

Climate change, water shortage, clean drinking water, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October 11, 2014 – The governor of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has asked for emergency clearance to siphon the remaining water out of the main reservoir serving Sao Paulo city, which has almost run dry. After nine months of unprecedented drought, 95% of the water has gone

Recent reports from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) and the White House are showing the consequences of climate change. 

Water scarcity will hit hundreds of millions of additional people by 2100.

In 2013, about 1.3 billion people lived in water-scarce regions, according to one study. An additional 8% of the population would enter a state of ‘new or aggravated water scarcity’ solely due to climate change with a temperature increase of 2 degrees C by 2100.

Water Risks

The National Climate Assessment detailed some of our nation’s record-breaking droughts. In 2011, Texas and Oklahoma saw more than 100 days over almost 28 degrees C and also set records for the hottest summer since 1895, when people began keeping reliable climate records.

“Rates of water loss, due in part to evaporation, were double the long-term average. The heat and drought depleted water resources and contributed to more than $10 billion in direct losses to agriculture alone.

When parched areas do get rain, it does not necessarily make it into groundwater supplies since dry ground is not good at absorbing water, according to the convention report.

While some places are becoming drier, others are in danger of serious floods (see 8 and 13).

Millions of people and trillions in assets are at risk in coastal cities

Assuming a sea-level rise of 0.5 meters by 2070, with an extra .5 to 1.5 meters to account for storms, a 2008 study ranked the most exposed cities in the world. The analysis found staggering potential losses in cities around the world.

Calcutta, India, may be the most exposed, with 14 million people and $2 trillion in assets at risk. Miami is also in big trouble with 4.8 million people and $3.5 trillion at risk.

136 historic places could be lost to sea-level rise

Climate change, sea level rising

Because of sea level rising, historical cities will be lost

If global temperatures rise one degree C, more than 40 of the more than 700 UN world heritage sites will be seriously threatened by water within the next 2,000 years, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters.

If temperatures rise 3 degrees C, that number rises to 136 sites.

Historical city centers like Venice, Istanbul, and St. Petersburg would be among those impacted.

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