How Does a Climate Change Influence Water Resources? Essay

3158 Words Dec 13th, 2008 13 Pages
How does a climate change influence water resources?

Climate change is the biggest challenge that we face in the world today. It is already leading to significant changes in the world’s physical environment. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. Glaciers are melting. Sea ice and snow cover are declining. Animals and plants are responding to earlier seasons. Global warming has already driven up mean sea levels by 110-20 centimetres during the last 100 years, and this is forecast to rise by up to another 88 centimetres by 2100. In this essay I will discuss how climate change influences water resources and how the impact of climate change on hydrology can be minimised.

Water is essential to human life and many of life’s
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Under extreme climatic conditions, lakes may disappear entirely.

Changes in inflows to endorheic lakes can have very substantial effects: The Aral Sea, for example, has been significantly reduced in size by increased levels of irrigation water and the Great Salt Lake in the United States has increased in size as a result of increased precipitation. Many endorheic lake systems include significant internal thresholds, where change may be more catastrophic an increases and decreases in size. For example Lake Balkash currently consists of a briny part and a fresh part, connected by a narrow strait. Several rivers flow into the fresh part, preventing the entire lake from becoming completely salinised. However if this were to change this would lead the fresh section of the lake to become salinised and would render the lake useless for drinking water.
Although an increase in flood risk is frequently thought of as one of the potential and most devastating effect of climate change, relatively few studies have looked at possible changes in water levels. This is largely due to difficulties in defining credible scenarios for change in considerable increase of precipitation that would trigger flooding. A number of studies have tried to calculate changes in flood frequencies, using monthly precipitation levels, and some have looked at the possible additional effects of changes in rainfall intensity.

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