Floods

Pacific The island nation of Kiribati became the first country to purchase land outside of its own territory in response to climate change, buying 20 square kilometers on an island in Fiji, the Guardian reported. Due to rising sea levels—which in some areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasing 1.2 centimeters a year—Kiribati […]

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Floods Flooding in Nepal costs the country approximately $US 232 million each year when taking into account damages to both infrastructure and health, according to a new study by Nepal’s government and the Climate Development Knowledge Network, the Guardian reported. There is evidence that the intensity and frequency of floods in Nepal are increasing, with […]

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Energy & Natural Resources As many as 15,000 people, many of them Q’eqchi Mayans, will be displaced by the construction of a $US 337 million hydropower project in Guatemala, the Guardian reported. The Xalalá dam would be the second largest in the country, and the government has has vowed to build the project despite local […]

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Water Scarcity Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. Water shortages […]

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Water Scarcity The El Niño weather phenomenon, predicted to occur later this year, leads to an average 1.4 percent drop in global wheat yields and a 2.3 percent drop in corn yields, while soybean yields increase an average 3.5 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, Bloomberg News reported. El […]

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ExtremeRain

The Southwest is drying out, while the Northeast is becoming wetter.

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Climate There is a more than 70 percent chance that an El Niño weather pattern will develop later this summer, and forecasters are now suggesting it may be one of the strongest in decades, Reuters reported. A climate scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said that water temperatures in the Pacific […]

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Water Pollution Water utility officials in Lanzhou, China, found the carcinogenic substance benzene present at levels 20 times the national limit in the city’s water supply, Xinhua reported. Approximately 2.4 million residents of the city were told to stop drinking their tap water while authorities search for the source of the benzene, which they say […]

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Water Supply Reservoir levels outside of Tehran are at a “critical level” and approximately 500 cities across Iran are facing water shortages, according to water officials in the country, Voice of America reported. Officials said water cuts could be imposed for some of the 22 million people served by Tehran’s water supply if consumption is […]

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Hydropower Environmental groups have raised concerns that the population of Irawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River—which now consists of an estimated 85 individuals—will disappear if construction of a dam on the river is completed, Time reported. A report from the World Wildlife Fund says that explosions during the dam’s construction could kill dolphins in the […]

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Natural Disasters The annual economic cost of natural disasters in China nearly doubled in 2013, costing the country $US 69 billion, Reuters reported. The most expensive disasters were floods and mudslides, followed by earthquakes and droughts. An extended period of heavy rainstorms and floods in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the country’s […]

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Weather It is becoming more likely that an El Niño weather pattern will form this year, potentially bringing severe drought to places like Australia and India while bringing heavy rains and floods to the Midwest United States and Brazil, Reuters reported. El Niño is caused when surface water temperatures increase in the Pacific Ocean. Hydropower […]

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Water Pollution China plans to spend $US 330 billion addressing polluted water supplies, more than it is planning to spend on air pollution, Reuters reported. The money will go to efforts to prevent pollution, such as wastewater treatment upgrades, and aims to improve water quality 30 to 50 percent. Coal ash released in a spill […]

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Europe The United Kingdom has been suffering a deluge of heavy rainstorms for months, leading to record-breaking floods that have inundated thousands of homes and businesses. In this comprehensive summary report of the floods, the Guardian examines how they might affect the country’s water management and the implementation of climate change adaptation measures. Exploration projects […]

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Pollution Australian government records show that a nickel refinery illegally discharged wastewater into the Great Barrier Reef marine park, introducing hundreds of tons of nitrogen into the environment, the Guardian reported. The company was not penalized, and said the releases were necessary to prevent overflow from the refinery’s tailings ponds during heavy rains. Environmental officials […]

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Political disagreements between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials have left a new wastewater treatment plant sitting idle, the Guardian reported. The plant is meant to improve water quality in an aquifer that supplies water to Gaza, where most citizens have to buy water from vendors and can pay as much as a third […]

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Drinking Water The quality of drinking water supplies is at risk from increasingly frequent extreme weather, such as droughts, floods and wildfires—especially if they occur in combination, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing a new study released by researchers at the University of New South Wales. For example, a large wildfire followed by heavy rain […]

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For the first time since 2008, Australia’s government will sell some of its water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin, making as much as 10 gigaliters available to irrigators, the Guardian reported. The decision has been applauded by drought-hit farmers, but members of the Greens political party worry that the sell-off could damage communities and environments […]

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Residents and activists living near Sochi, Russia say the construction of Olympic venues has increased flood risks and may lead to the contamination of drinking water supplies, Reuters reported. One house in Sochi collapsed, allegedly due to construction activities that reduced drainage capabilities in the area. Extreme Weather California’s governor is planning to declare a […]

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Climate Change As much of Australia’s southeastern region remains in the grip of a heat wave, experts from the Climate Council caution that such heat waves are only going to become more frequent, Reuters reported. Heat waves that are more intense and last longer will put increasing pressure on water supplies and the country’s major […]

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