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Global Warming & Prediction of Water Shortages


Click on glacier to enlargeMost Global Warming (GW ) scenarios predict melting of polar ice caps, leading to massive seaboard flooding as sea levels increase. A fact often overlooked (at least in the popular press) is that GW will most likely produce water shortages for many, even while other areas are inundated with too-much water.A recent account was picked up by the major newspapers: Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, CA) has developed a mathematical model predicting that up to 1/6th of the world population could face water shortages because of GW.So, if there is too much water, why the water shortage? The answer is that the water shortage is a fresh-water shortage. Fresh water will be lost due to GW in several ways:

  • Evaporation from fresh-water sources, such as rivers, may occur at a faster rate than any higher precipitated caused by GW.
  • GW will cause glaciers to melt. Glaciers are estimated to contain up to 70 percent of the world’s fresh water reserves. (And they are the natural feeders of rivers)
Island countries will be the hardest hit by GW because of the flooding and the fresh-water loss. There are already numerous calls around the world for action. The United Nations Environment Programme has recently released an urgent call for world attention to Water Shortages and Global Warming Risks for Indian Ocean Islands, where the potential for future tsunami is very real.We are at least at a point where most agree that GW is occurring, even though there is still much debate (ideological/political) about whether GW is caused by the effects of mankind. Usually these debates center on the mathematical model used. Mathematical modeling always involves compromise. Decisions are made to simplify the model by keeping the number of variables (and equations) manageable, and the interaction of these variables (e.g. solar energy and ocean condition) is usually done heuristically. With the models necessarily non-linear, the potential for chaotic behavior , especially SDIC, is very real. Because of this erratic-output, it then becomes very easy for some (and some governments) to blame the model, or the modeler for the bad news of GW, losing sight of the occuring phonemona of GW.GW still remains very real, however, whether or not a model can convince all of what what causes GW. But the models for water shortage due to GW are much simpler because of the basic correlation that more heat = more ice melting, and should be trusted by all.Predictions of severe water shortages due to GW are not new - they just don’t make it into MSM - until now. Is anyone listening?