01-09-2021 · Insight

Climate change and water - warmer oceans, floods and drought

Climate change manifests itself, among other things, in an increase in extreme weather events. For example, rising sea levels lead to more flooding and storm surges. As a result, salinization of groundwater and soils in coastal regions is increasing.

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Floods also pose a risk to human health, as they can lead to an increase in infectious diseases, transmitted for example by mosquitoes. In mountain regions, on the other hand, climate change brings less snowfall and a lower snow cover. This increases the risk of flooding during cool seasons, as more precipitation falls in the form of rain instead of snow, and exacerbates water shortages during warmer seasons. Glaciers are also visibly melting, leading to higher variability and lower mean river levels. Due to climate change, air temperatures are also rising. The resulting greater evaporation leads to less groundwater recharge and a greater need for irrigation in agriculture. Rising temperatures also cause water bodies to become warmer, reducing the self-purification capacity of inland waters and thus endangering fisheries on the one hand and promoting the development of harmful algal blooms on the other.

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