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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

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.

One of the driest and warmest summers in Germany

This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.

Sad pictures of a lake that disappears in Chile

In 2011, Laguna de Aculeo, one of the country’s favourite bathing resorts, still covered 12 square kilometres, and the lake was 6 metres deep – but since then, it has completely dried out.

UN report: climate change could cause global famine

According to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that focuses on the interaction between climate change, desertification and food security, if present land use habits are maintained, the planet’s capacity to produce food will drop drastically.

European Union aid for drought-stricken Africa

The EU is contributing a further 50 million euro to alleviate drought damage in a number of Eastern and Central African countries. According to estimates, more than 4 million children and about 3 million pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are undernourished in the region.

Seventeen countries suffer critical water shortages

According to a report from the World Resources Institute, 17 countries are facing extremely high water stress, from India through Israel to Botswana. Many of the countries in question – which, collectively, are home to a quarter of the world’s population – are in the Middle East and North Africa.

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