Laguna de Aculeo was one of Chile’s most popular bathing destinations, less than a two-hour drive from the capital. In April 2019, NASA published shocking photos of the drastic change that the lake has undergone over the last five years.
Lake Aculeo, once four times the size of New York’s Central Park and six metres deep, used to be a favourite with bathers and water sports enthusiasts – but only until recently. The satellite images that NASA published in April show that while in February 2014, the lake was still its usual shape, it has dried up completely by spring 2019, partly as a result of several years of droughts, most likely to have been caused by climate change.
Water shortages represent one of the most severe consequences of global warming, impacting growing numbers of people. In 2018, the Cape Town water crisis made global news. This year so far, the situation is the worst in India: millions are struggling to get water day after day.
Drought had already reduced the water yield of many natural waters in Germany drastically last year, but this year, due to the record heat wave sweeping across Europe, experts are warning about the possibility of actual water shortages in some areas.
The Indian water shortage resulting from unprecedented drought intensifies already significant social inequality.
Philip Alston, a UN expert on human rights claims that the world will soon face the risk of climate apartheid, as we are progressing towards a future in which only the rich will have the opportunity to escape the negative consequences of global warming while the poor suffer from the heat and famines.
In some parts of southern India, the water situation has become critical: in Chennai, a city with five million inhabitants and the capital of Tamil Nadu state (and the country’s sixth largest city) there has been a water shortage for weeks.
The lack of rain early this year has resulted in the most severe drought in the history of Namibia: the government declared a state of emergency in May. Five hundred thousand people are at the risk of not having enough food, not to mention the domestic and wild animals in the region.
Up to 7 million people may reach a hopeless food situation in the East African country according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
24 years ago, the UN designated June 17th as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The importance and the relevance of the topic is marked by the fact that water shortage is one of the main themes of this year’s greatest event in diplomacy, the Budapest Water Summit 2019.
A new study published in Nature, authored by 11 internationally recognised experts on climate and military conflicts has looked at the impact of the global increase in temperature on the incidence of armed conflicts.
Large lakes that have dried up and disappeared are among the saddest and most spectacular signs of global warming. Where a lake dries out, it is not only water that disappears: it is only a matter of time before wildlife, plants, animals, and then people, cultures and living communities are also extinguished.