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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Breaking news

Hey people,
I will be covering the World News worksheet based on the articles on drought in France and Australia.
What is the climate? Where is the country located? What is happening?
France is located in Europe, with a temperate climate, and a rather moderate amount of rainfall is facing water shortages due to drought and dry weather.
Australia has an arid climate, low rainfall and high temperature is facing heavy downpours. Queensland is hit by cyclone, Perth, which was threatened with cyclone, is suffering from bushfires and Sydney is suffering from heat waves.

Why? How?
France is facing the worst water shortage since 1976, due to drought and dry weather. Reservoirs and rivers are drying up so fishes and crops are dying. Fines and patrols of “water police” were put in place to enforce restrictions on irrigation and ensure that people do not waste water. Resulting in many people loses money from their farms and more people become unemployed. This could have been a result of higher amount of carbon dioxide, which causes more heat to be trapped in our atmosphere, so lakes start to evaporate and drought occurs.
Australia is facing heavy downpours. One of the biggest cyclones hit Queensland, Perth threatened with a cyclone last week is currently suffering from bush fires, while Sydney is suffering from heat waves. This could be due to the increase in evaporation from lakes due to increase heat trapped in the atmosphere, so the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases, causing heavy downpours.

The above would lead to the people being injured and even death. Buildings are damaged, livestock are killed and people would become homeless and suffer from hunger. The food industry will be affected, since the supply of food decreases while the demand of the people increases. If the problem persists, food prices will rise. Bushfires would damage more plants and increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through the burning of plants. Also, there are lesser plants to recycle carbon dioxide for oxygen. So the heat budget becomes even more imbalance as more carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. Leading to long-term effects such as temperatures rising, glaciers melting and rising of water level. 

Picture of Carbon cycle and heat budget

Done by: Lydia :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lydia!

    Thanks so much for your post! It was very helpful:) However, I was quite curious about the causes of such a drought, and while researching, I came across some interesting information.

    Firstly, I would like to say that while the water shortage may be more prominent in areas such as France and Australia, it is not limited to these regions. In fact, the whole world is starting to feel the effects of water shortages, even countries like China.

    Secondly, what causes the water shortages, other than the reason Lydia mentioned? Increasing populations, inefficient irrigation systems as well as pollution can be the cause of water shortage. Allow me to elaborate.

    The growing population means that there are more people who demand freshwater which simply isn't possible. In 1999 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that 200 scientists in 50 countries had identified water shortage as one of the two most worrying problems for the new millennium, and with good reason! Today, 20% of the world's population has no access to safe drinking water, and about half lacks safe sanitation! These statistics are quite clearly appalling, and reflect how the demands of the growing popultion are increasing as well.

    Inefficient irrigation systems are also partly the cause of the worldwide water shortage. In China, for instance, it takes 1,000 tonnes of water to produce one tonne of wheat. This is an immense amount of water being used for a relatively insignificant yield. Thus inefficient irrigation also contributes to the water shortage.

    Pollution is one of the major causes of the global water shortage as it depletes the small freshwater reserves that we have left. Lake Baikal in Russia, for example, was the biggest freshwater body in the world, but its water became polluted and unsafe for consumption, which I feel is quite a waste as we do not have that much freshwater to begin with.

    Increasingly, governments are seeking to solve these water problems by using subterranean supplies of groundwater. Groundwater, as we all know, is water located beneath the ground surface within the soil pore spaces. This idea is not very feasible as groundwater is an important part of the water cycle and is not a limitless cycle at our disposal. With less groundwater, there will be less evaporation, less condensation, and less transpiration, causing rivers and lakes to dry up, making the drought worse in the long term.

    However, investing in more efficient irrigation systems would be a smart move on the governments' part, and it would be completely worth the taxpayers' dollar.

    Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and to add on to my points!