Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Climate change causing massive damage in Siberia

Some regions of Siberia are particularly exposed to the impacts of global warming: in Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia, the annual mean temperature has increased by 2.5 degrees Celsius over the last ten years.

The intense melting of permafrost is one of the most spectacular indicators of the process: while previously usually only the top metre of the frozen soil melted out, today, melting down to a depth of three metres is common, which has modified landscapes extensively.

Areas that were previously flat have turned into alternating hummocks and craters caused by sinking soil,
marshes and lakes are forming,
and the geological changes are making agriculture and pasturage impossible. This has had a critical impact on the livelihoods of many people living there, and many of them have had to leave their homes behind.

The changes are just as harmful for city dwellers: in Yakutsk alone, about a thousand buildings have been damaged by soil settlement, and the road network requires continuous repairs. A journalist from the New York Times has spoken to a local who was unable to open his front door because of the sinkage, and the rising groundwater has rotted his floorboards.

Climate change is also reshaping the ecosystem: in recent years, new plant and animal species have appeared in the region, and the migration routes of reindeer have also shifted.

Yakutia, with its population of one million people – the photo shows the capital, Yakutsk – would be the world’s eighth largest country if independent Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The New York Times

Does climate change make flights more dangerous?

Research in recent years has shown that flights are impacted by increasing turbulence and storms. Although turbulence is not a new phenomenon, as a result of climate change, turbulent atmospheric conditions and thunderstorms extending up to commercial flight altitudes are increasing in frequency as well as in intensity.

Can coral reefs be saved?

Scientists at the Florida Aquarium have induced spawning of a species of coral in laboratory conditions for the first time.

Deadly fungal infections emerge as a result of climate change

Since its discovery in 2009, the surprisingly resilient Candida auris fungus, which is also highly dangerous to humans, has been found in an increasing number of locations worldwide. A study claims that the spread of the pathogen may be related to global warming.

Do the effects of climate change make spiders more aggressive?

A new study has shown that the extreme storms that accompany climate change may have entirely unexpected consequences for spiders.

Time to say goodbye to weather as we know it?

Hot and dry as well as rainy periods will become longer in the northern hemisphere if the global average temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius relative to preindustrial levels, warns a new climate study published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

’Ecological grief’ in Greenland

A national survey conducted in Greenland has shown that 90 percent of respondents believe climate change is happening, while 76 percent have said that they have personally experienced the effects of global warming in everyday life.

Forest vertebrate populations halved in 50 years

The first global status report produced about the biodiversity of forests under the leadership of the WWF has shown that the populations of forest-dwelling vertebrate animals have halved in the last fifty years.

Declining polar sea ice due to record heat

The extent of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice hit a record low in July 2019. This occurred in the month that was also the hottest ever July on record since meteorological records were begun in 1880, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced.

Icelandic glacier to be remembered by monument

A monument is to be erected to honour the glacier that was first lost to global warming in Iceland. The plaque will feature a note to future generations, as well.

The brutal price of air conditioning

According to the 2018 global report of the International Energy Agency, demand for air conditioning will triple by 2050, which will increase electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and thereby accelerate the rate of global warming.