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Lecture 6

Earth Science 2WW3--lecture 6

Earth Sciences
Course Code
Luc Bernier

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Water and Finance
1) What is the cause of the floods which occurred in China, this summer?
a. Melting of mountain glaciers
b. Release of water by dams
c. Breach of dams
d. Monsoonal (summer) rainfall
Part 1 - Climate Change and Poverty
Extreme poverty: living on U.S. $1.25/day or less = living on the edge of subsistence
It is estimated that currently 1.1 billion people live in extreme poverty in the world
These people have little to no chance of changing their condition on their own
For them every day is a fight to eat and live
Most of them live in the Indian subcontinent and sub-Saharan Africa
They also live in regions where water resources are hard pressed and are expected to see
increases in their development
The graph illustrates the evolution of the proportion of people living in the state of
extreme poverty in the Arab world from 1990 to 2005
In many countries there have been improvements during this 15 year span (Jordan)
however there are countries where conditions have been worsening for example Yemen
East Asia and Pacific: 50% reduction since 1990
Climate Change, Diseases, & Poverty
Countries where extreme poverty dominates face widespread failing health and
malnutrition, failed crops and loss of livelihood
The interaction with changing climate conditions only worsens this scenario
Countries where extreme poverty dominates are decimated by diseases such as malaria
and HIV
In rural Africa some villages have only aging grandparents and children
Able bodied men and women are all dead from HIV infection

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Water and Finance
This map shows that the prevalence rate of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa is
extremely high
Prevalence rate of HIV infection
Environmental Change & Poverty
Changing environmental conditions have only worsened this cycle of extreme poverty
Droughts in Africa and in the Sahel have only made things worse
The interaction with changing climate conditions have increased the persistence of
Deforestation for fuel and farming is widespread and increasing in these regions
The interactions between climate change and deforestation can lead to more disastrous
Impact of climate change in Haiti
Climate change has worsened the state of extreme poverty in Haiti, one of the poorest
countries in the world
This have been triggered by the detonation of hillsides by attempts to get food, shelter
and fuel
Hillside deforestation has left the country even more vulnerable to the devastation caused
by hurricanes and the associated abundant rainfall
Because of deforestation rainfalls runoff without interruption to valleys and cause
massive flooding
Aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, 2010
Vegetation Cover & Hydrological Feedbacks
This flow chart illustrates how destruction of vegetation cover leads to hydrological
feedbacks that increase the impacts of climate filtration
At the start land that is laid bare is more vulnerable to rainwater as it runs on sun baked
The water enters dries cracks and washes away topsoil this leads to a loss of nutrients and

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Water and Finance
Leading to the loss of soil infertility the crops are dwindling in their yields and the soil
losses intensify by intense droughts and storms
Impacts of Droughts in the Sahel
Sahel: “desertfringe”
The impacts of droughts on the Sahel illustrate these feedbacks
The Sahel is a narrow bout acclimating zone
Which stretches across the entire southern margin of the Sahara desert
These is now less high intensity rain events
The period between 1968 and 1973 has been particularly devastating
Between 100 thousand and 250 thousand have died in a famine
This keeps reoccurring
The poor rains in 2005 were a factor in major famine that impacted 3 million people in
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