The Hindu newspaper of India says that a United Nations report leaked online warns of dire consequences for freshwater resources if greenhouse gases remain unchecked.
The report is reportedly a final draft by the Working Group II of the UN Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), sent to all governments for comment before being finalized and released.
“In response to on-going climate change, terrestrial and marine species have shifted their ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, and abundance, have demonstrated altered species,” notes the report’s summary, adding that developing countries, especially, are vulnerable to damaging climatic events (e.g., heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires).
Regarding freshwater availability, the summary warns:
“Climate change will reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions, exacerbating competition for water among sectors. Each degree of warming is projected to decrease renewable water resources by at least 20% for an additional 7% of the global population.”
As the report notes, dried-up water sources will hurt crop yields even as demand surges with population growth.