USask part of global call to action on climate change

The world faces increased flooding, droughts and possible conflicts due to the effects of climate change on fresh water supplies drawn from mountains but is "woefully unprepared" to tackle these risks, experts say.

At the High Mountain Summit meeting of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva this week, scientists and climate experts are presenting a “call to action” that would seek better cooperation between governments, researcher and space agencies to address the growing climate crisis.

“The high mountain regions are the home of the cryosphere, and source of global freshwater that are transmitted by rivers to much of the world. Preservation of ecosystem function and services from these regions is essential to global water, food and energy security,” says the Call for Action.

Read more at the World Meteorological Organization.

Mountain-sourced water supplies, which provide about half of all drinking water worldwide, is becoming more unpredictable as warmer temperatures melt glaciers and change precipitation patterns and river levels, affecting countries unevenly.

"We are woefully underprepared. Our infrastructure was built in the 19th and 20th centuries in the mountains and downstream of the mountains and we don't have that climate anymore," said Dr. John Pomeroy (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), who is co-chairing the event.

Pomeroy is accompanied by USask PhD student Caroline Aubry-Wake and a team from the USask-led Global Water Futures Program which is presenting on the most current research from Canada as it relates to the global situation.

Read more:

World unprepared for impact of climate change on mountain water supplies – experts

Algae blooms to make glaciers melt faster than thought: scientists

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