According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, climate change is threatening the world’s water supply, increasing the number of people at risk of absolute water scarcity by 40 percent in this century alone.
PIK heeds the warning that if the Earth should warm by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels and if populations grow, ten in 100 people would have access to less than 132,000 gallons of water in a year- which is up from one to two in 100 today. This prediction is particularly alarming considering PIK’s announcement in October that 1.3 billion of Earth’s 7 billion people already live in water-scarce regions.
The UN gives a similar forecast that the world is on track to experience a temperature increase within the next century, which at the very least would be the catalyst for higher sea levels and more intense storms.
The study that PIK references was based on an analysis of 11 global hydrological models, and conducted by research institutes from around the world. PIK also states that different regions of the world would have varying experiences as the world’s temperature increases: the southern U.S., Mediterranean, Middle East and southern China most likely seeing lower water availability, while southern India, western China and parts of East Africa possibly experiencing noticeable increases.
This research serves as yet another reminder that water scarcity is a real thing, and the loss of this precious resource is a world-wide concern.