Study: Climate change alters water supply

November 17, 2005

U.S. researchers studying global climate change say hotter temperatures are melting glaciers will have a detrimental effect on the environment and economy.

They say the affect of melting polar ice caps and glaciers worldwide will increase over the upcoming decades, according to even the most conservative estimates, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

A team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography looked at the affect on the Rhine River in Europe and on Canadian prairies and found it mirrored what was happening in the western United States.

They found farmers were more at risk of drought and shipments of goods on the waters would be reduced.

A Chinese study found glaciers in the Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountains have been dramatically getting smaller over the past 25 years.

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looked at 12 climate change models to estimate how the extra water -- and fewer glaciers -- would affect the world.

It found a 10 to 40 percent increase in water flows in parts of Africa, Eurasia and North and South America and a 10 to 30 percent decline in Southern Africa and Europe, the Middle East and western North America.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Research team develops data-driven methods to refine climate predictions, analyze climatic changes

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