Rising Sea Levels Are Bad, But Drought Could Be Much Worse
Both are being exacerbated by climate change, but the threat to civilization caused by drought is more immediate, with one study suggesting that it may have influenced current Middle East unrest.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
While recent reports of climate change impacts involve too much water -- as in rising sea levels and stronger storms -- many researchers say that the more immediate threat to civilization is drought. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research published this week predicts that up to 500 million people will experience water scarcity by 2100...and that's a best-case scenario. In a worse case, that number could double, with most of those affected living in North Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
What's the Big Idea?
Meteorologist Jeff Masters says stories about droughts "[aren't] as exciting; people don't run away from giant droughts like they do with hurricanes." However, he also notes that throughout history, drought has helped cause the demise of many civilizations. Some researchers, such as Francesco Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, have formed a possible link between water scarcity and recent Middle East instability. A drought that was blamed on climate change destroyed nearly 75 percent of Syria's crops and forced over a million people from rural areas into the cities, a migration that may have helped contribute to the unrest happening now.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
We're more dependent on them than we realize.
- Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
- A natural climate strategy we often forget.
- Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.
While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.
- Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
- There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
- One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.