Going Green and living more sustainably are becoming increasingly necessary as well as more attractive and satisfying. This “Green Page” will look at one sustainability topic each month, with ideas to consider and steps to use individually and as a congregation to care for and honor God’s amazing creation.
Climate Change and Water
Climate change will have direct consequences for global water security. As a result, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has alerted the global community to the vulnerability of freshwater resources. Climate change is already affecting water access for people around the world due to increasing global temperatures. It is impacting the water cycle by influencing when, where, and how much precipitation falls, leading to more floods since more water will fall than vegetation and soil can absorb. Excess runoff eventually travels to larger bodies of water, polluting the water supply. In other regions, droughts are exacerbating already present water scarcity. These factors threaten food security and human health. Food security is dependent on agricultural crop yield, and decreased food security results in malnutrition. In addition, lack of access to clean water means that waterborne diseases will occur as people are unable to practice good hygiene. As the ocean warms, freshwater glaciers around the Earth melt into the ocean. With the rising of sea levels, saltwater can contaminate underground freshwater aquifers. In the Northern Hemisphere—where snow, a freshwater source, typically accumulates—warmer temperatures mean less snowfall, which leaves less water available in local reservoirs after winter which negatively impacts farmers, who are left without enough water to irrigate their crops in the growing season. Worse, Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change, and it has been estimated that temperatures over Africa will rise faster than the global average, possibly exceeding 3 to 6 percent by the end of this century, when compared to the average temperature of the late 20th century.
Worldwide, a lack of food security and access to clean water are known drivers of conflict. Aggravation of the current state of food insecurity has the potential to result in both local and global conflicts. Only 3 percent of the Earth’s water is freshwater, and of this, two-thirds is captured in glaciers and polar ice. It is obvious that we must both reduce climate change and safeguard the freshwater we have to serve a global population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050. Ensuring that everyone has access to sustainable and healthy water is an essential strategy for climate change amelioration for the future.
Mark your calendars for the April Earth Forum:
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
50 Years of Earth Day!
Theme: Recycling, More Sustainable Practices