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)