Water Productivity Journal (WPJ) Quarterly Publication

Document Type : Original Research Paper

Author

Acting Director, Climate and Water Department, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

10.22034/wpj.2021.248627.1015

Abstract

Over the last three decades, climate change has emerged as one of the most crucial issues for humankind, with serious implications for sustainable development.  In recent decades, changes in climate have caused the impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Climate change increases variability in the water cycle, inducing extreme weather events such as droughts and more erratic storms, reducing the predictability of water availability, affecting water quality and threatening sustainable development and biodiversity worldwide. Agriculture is the sector most vulnerable to climate change due to its high dependence on climate and weather. It is important to determine the impacts of climate change on water resources in order to develop possible adaptation strategies to improve water productivity. This paper discusses the observed climate change over the past few decades; the climate change-induced impacts, such as rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, increased droughts, and more erratic storms; the future climate change; the climate change impacts on water productivity; and the strategies to improve the water productivity such as improved policies, emphasis on sustainability, improving water resource management and use of appropriate models.

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