Climate change is impacting the entire planet. It is impacting oceans, continents, and ecosystems. I recently completed a study on strategies for North East North Africa food securities, and the analysis clearly showed that the Nile river basin is getting impacted.
In India, the Indo-Gangetic river basin served by the River Ganges river system is impacted. Much work has been done on the impact of climate change on the Amazon river basin. The common feature in these cases is that global warming affects the ecosystem across these river basins and the whole planet. The changes are gradual, and the pace of change varies yearly, as expected. There is clear evidence that the Himalayan glaciers are steadily shrinking. It will impact river water flows in all systems dependent on glacial flows.
Rivers basins worldwide are sources for irrigation, recharging groundwater, provide drinking water to towns and cities. Climate change disturbs weather patterns. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events will increase. These events can be in the form of excessive rainfall or long droughts. The impact of global warming leads to the depletion of the water sources of rivers, and the water requirements in the basin have to be augmented by groundwater. Such interventions can lead to the rapid depletion of this resource. A rapid drop in groundwater is witnessed in the Indo-Gangetic plains, threatening agriculture and the way of life in the region.
The NENA region is a water and food deficit region. If global food imports are impacted further, we could be faced with the specter of people tapping into the non-renewable ancient Sahara water resource. It will be a scenario that could be described as Armageddon.
Adaptation has to occur at country, business, and individual levels. The change is coming upon us rapidly. We also see that extreme weather events’ frequency and intensity are increasing. The changes required are momentous and huge. Systems, processes, technologies, and people are all shifting from a carbon driven to a non-carbon world. The changes required are massive. The whole world is needed to adapt to its surrounding like the dragon that blends rapidly into its surrounding. You, me, businesses, countries, and the ecosystem are transitioning.
Human activities have caused greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to show a sustained rise since 1750. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are the major contributors to greenhouse gases. Of the last four decades, each decade has been successfully warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850.
If GHG emissions remain high, the rain will rise from 1 to 13 percent. Monsoon precipitation will increase particularly over South and Southeast Asia, East Asia, and West Africa, apart from the far west Sahel. The Food Policy Report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2009, has estimated that South Asia will be hit particularly hard. An additional 78 million people will be facing chronic hunger in 2050. Over half of them will be in Africa, south of the Sahara (IFPRI, 2021).