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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

One billion tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the air in Africa

The problem of the water shortages caused by global warming is much more complex than we have thought. In some parts of Africa, people not only need to face thirst but also the fact that the regions impacted by drought emit a quantity of carbon dioxide equivalent to the emissions of two hundred million cars each year.

Analysis of satellite data collected over a decade, led by the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh has shown that in the northern region of tropical Africa, 1 to 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon is released into the atmosphere each year.

The study has shown that the soil that deteriorates as a result of extended
and repeated periods of drought and changes in land use releases stored carbon dioxide in the western regions
of Ethiopia and in the western part
of Africa’s tropical regions.

“The carbon source might have gone undiscovered with land-based surveys alone,” wrote the researchers, who analysed data gathered by two NASA satellite missions, GOSAT and OCO-2.

The specialists compared the data from the satellites with three atmospheric models showing changes in vegetation, and other measurements of ground water, fires in the region and levels of photosynthesis.

The study is the result of a decade of work involving hundreds of engineers and scientists, with assistance from the space agencies of several countries.

Regions in Africa affected by drought emit as much carbon dioxide each year as two hundred million cars Photo: Shutterstock

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

Further information: Phys.org

Major cities that could share the fate of Cape Town

Cape Town’s historic water crisis was a wake-up call for the entire world. Something that had previously been unimaginable happened. If the targets set in the Paris Agreement are not reached, there is reason to fear that many other major cities could suffer a similar fate within a few decades. The example of Cape Town is a timely warning that chronic water shortages are already just around the corner.

Innovative solution: The Water Retainer in Morocco

Only 1 percent of the World’s water is available fresh water and 70 percent of that is used by agriculture. Morocco is one of the countries facing the crises of less rain, drier topsoil and increasing population.

The last drops: seven bodies of water threatened by drying up

Climate change is increasingly depleting the water resources of the world – in many places, drinking water shortages are already a serious problem. The shocking images below tell a story about Earth’s largest bodies of water that we can no longer ignore.

What will become of you, Africa?

We have known for some time that a number of countries in Africa are particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming on account of their positions alone. A recent study warns that the situation is even worse than we had previously thought.

Water scarcity leading to political conflict

Political tension caused by water shortages was also a feature of the history of the 20th century, and today, there is fighting in a number of zones where the lack of water was one of the initial causes of the conflict.

Hundreds of Australian towns face water crisis

Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.

Water shortage threatens the Panama Canal

Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.

Extremely low water levels on the River Maros

The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.

Millions left without water in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, shut down its main water works on 23 September citing shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals required for water treatment. The situation may not only lead to a severe water shortage for the population, but also increases the risks of diseases carried by contaminated water, such as cholera.

European farming could suffer 16 percent loss by 2050 due to climate change

A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.

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