Global Warming Could Leave Billions of People without a Water Supply

A large number of people across the planet rely on glaciers and mountain snow as a primary source of water. As global warming continues to affect climate, the many ice depots continue to melt at an accelerated rate, leaving people at risk.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release a new report which is focused on the state of the ocean and the cryosphere (which contains the total amount of frozen water which can be found in nature, including frozen water, snow, ice, and permafrost. It is estimated that up to 70% of all the freshwater in the world is contained within the cryosphere. Up to 96.5% of all the water found on our planet is represented by the oceans.

According to the paper, climate change will bring large-scale changes to all the water on a planet, in some way or another. People who live in coastal areas, near mountains or in zones where winter temperatures go below the freezing point have already seen some of the effects of climate change.

Since all majority of all the water which can be found on our planet, including potable water, is found within the oceans and the cryosphere the damage is quite severe. Within the report, experts tackle a wide variety of issues spread across multiple sections. Some of them focus on specific areas like Polar Regions, high-altitude mountain zones and the increase of the sea level in coastal areas.

Mountain regions tend to warm faster than other locations across the globe. While the Paris Accords planned to keep warming under a 2 degrees Celsius limit, many mountain regions are already warmer than that. This will lead to season changes, a massive impact on the life of mountain communities, and the disappearance of essential water sources.

The conditions are also far from ideal for ocean life, which is also threatened by the growing temperatures. More data can be found in the report, which will be published in the following days.

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