This is the result of a recently concluded study in which a research group from Kassel University also participated. Climate change is just one of the causes for these developments. The implications are far-reaching – from agriculture to the operation of nuclear power plants.
Water will become increasingly scarce particularly in Southern Europe in the course of the 21st century according to the analysis presented in the study. Streamflow discharges will decrease significantly not only in Spain, Portugal and Italy, but also in southern France and in the Balkans – in some regions as much as 40%.
The study, which has just been published in the journal “Hydrology and Earth System Sciences”, predicts more pronounced periods of drought with up to 80% higher deficits in streamflow. Even regions where other studies have predicted increased precipitation due to climate change may suffer from hydrological droughts and falling water levels due to increases in water consumption, which have also been considered in the present study. Large sections of Germany are included in these regions.
“In many scenarios regarding water availability, attention is only given to the effects of climate change,” explains Dr. Martina Flörke, leader of the research group “Global and Regional Dynamics – Water” at the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) at Kassel University. “But there are other factors that can have a comparable effect and exacerbate water scarcity, such as population growth or increases in water consumption.”
For this reason, the group's scenario includes data and prognoses regarding climate change together with predictions about water consumption throughout Europe. In addition to Flörke, the Kassel scientist Florian Wimmer and other researchers from the Institute for Environment and Sustainability in Ispra, Italy, were involved.
The scenario that has been developed by the scientists extends to the end of the 21st century. In developing it, they made use of data from previous studies. Regarding climate change, the authors have taken a middle approach using a figure of 3.4 degrees increase in average global temperature. Regarding the question of water consumption, they are more pessimistic and have included assumptions of a drastic increase in water use.
“In politics, in business and generally in the society in the countries of Europe, strategies to cope with growing water scarcity must be developed,” explains Flörke. “This of course directly affects the agricultural sector and the general water supply for the population, but also areas such as river-based transport and power plants that are cooled with river water must be considered.” In the past 20 years, costs attributable to drought in Europe amounted to €6.2 billion per year, according to the study. These costs could very well rise in the future.Link to the study:
Sebastian Mense | idw
Southwest sliding into a drier climate
11.02.2016 | National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide
10.02.2016 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.
The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...
The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.
Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...
Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.
The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
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