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Climate effect on water supply

Over the course of the past 100 years, the average surface air temperature has increased by almost 1 degree centigrade in Europe.This is rapid warming.

Climate experts working with the UN estimate that by 2100 the global average temperature is to increase by a further 1.8-4 degrees centigrade.

Climate change is already making an impact - from temperature increases to rising sea levels due to melting polar ice caps and storms occurring more frequently. These heavy precipitation events naturally feed into flood risks.

By mid-century, annual average river run-off and water availability are projected to increase by 10-40% at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and decrease by 10-30% over some dry regions at mid-latitudes and in the dry tropics, some of which are presently water stressed areas.

Millions of people are projected to be flooded every year due to sea level rise by the 2080s. The numbers affected will be largest in the mega-deltas of Asia and Africa; while small islands are especially vulnerable.

Sustainable development can reduce vulnerability to climate change by increasing resilience. At present, however, not enough plans for sustainability have explicitly included either adapting to climate change impacts or promoting ways in which we can all adapt.

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