How to fix the world’s water crisis: How a few small steps can save us
Posted On June 6, 2021
The U.S. and Canada have been pushing to build a dam in the Arctic Ocean to prevent climate change and to store water for use in the future.
The plan has been in the works for decades, but is now facing criticism because it would increase CO2 emissions and increase global water shortages.
The Trump administration announced last week that it was reversing a decade-long ban on construction in the North Atlantic and Antarctic seas.
But the White House has still not committed to building the dam, which would pump a staggering 1.5 billion gallons of water a day into the Arctic.
And while a majority of Americans are supportive of building the project, the project faces some challenges from both sides of the Atlantic.
Many experts believe that building the Atlantic City Dam in New Jersey would exacerbate global warming.
The dam would pump 2.3 billion gallons a day of water into the sea, more than the equivalent amount pumped into the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy in 2015, according to a study released last week by researchers at Yale University and the University of Southampton.
The study also found that the project would require more than one billion gallons per day to keep the ocean’s temperature stable and prevent it from rising as much as the Paris climate agreement requires.
“It would add water, and it would add a lot of CO2,” says Andrew Freedman, a marine scientist at the University at Buffalo and the author of the report.
“If we don’t do it, we’ll just go to the ice caps, and that’s what we’re going to see.”
The Atlantic Ocean is an immense body of water that has become increasingly polluted due to human activity, particularly pollution from burning fossil fuels, and is currently the world, according the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
But Freedman said the Atlantic would likely see a lot more warming than it is currently experiencing.
“We’re at about the point where we’re really looking at, in a lot different ways, potentially more warming in the Atlantic than we are elsewhere,” Freedman says.
“You can’t predict all the things that are going to happen.”
The Arctic is a region where the Earth’s temperature is changing at an alarming rate, and sea levels are rising rapidly.
Scientists believe that rising temperatures and more frequent ice melt could bring more water and other pollutants to the region, including more heat-trapping pollutants like CO2.
But for now, most scientists don’t believe the Atlantic will be hit by any major weather events in the coming decades.
“I think it’s unlikely that there’s going to be an Atlantic hurricane, I don’t think there’s ever going to have been,” says Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University who studies climate change.
“So there’s not going to actually be any major hurricane, but we are in a fairly vulnerable situation.”
Scientists also think that the U.N. Intergovernmental Climate Change Conference (ICCC) will be held in mid-June in Warsaw, Poland, which is expected to be one of the world headquarters for the conference.
It is expected that a number of large climate change conferences will be hosted around the world to help the world meet its international commitments.
A study released in January by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, a British think tank, found that it would take nearly 1.3 trillion gallons of freshwater to keep global average temperatures at a stable state.
“The climate is changing rapidly and that will mean more flooding,” Freedmon says.
He said that the Arctic is “probably not going anywhere.”
But that doesn’t mean that the country of 1.7 billion people won’t face some tough decisions as it attempts to keep up with global warming and build new cities to accommodate its growing population.
“My hope is that we’re all really just talking about the same thing, that we have a lot to work together to make sure that we don and that we build a lot together,” Freedham says.