Water provides vital services for nature, agriculture and nearly all sectors of society. Soil moisture, sometimes managed through irrigation, controls productivity of natural and man-made ecosystems. Ground and surface waters are the primary source for drinking water supply. Rivers are used for transport and play important roles in energy supply, providing hydropower and cooling water for thermal power plants. At the same time they may pose significant threats to natural and economic assets when surface water level rises.
The precipitation trendstrends
long-term evolution, such as climate change and global warming. Trend analysis is used to describe trends, and can involve linear or multiple regression with time as a covariate. A trend model may be a straight line (linear) or more complex (polynomial), and the long-term rate of change can be described in terms of the time derivative from the trend model. for Europe may affect the water system in a number of ways. Summer droughts lead to a reduction in soil moisture, negatively affecting agricultural production. Adverse effects may be mitigated by irrigation, retention measuresmeasures
In climate policy, measures are technologies, processes, and practices that contribute to mitigation, for example renewable energy technologies, waste minimization processes and public transport commuting practices. or changed cropping systems. Due to extreme precipitation events, soils can become saturated more often leading to slope instabilities and potential landslides. Increased river discharge variability is anticipated. Summer low flows may affect drinking water quality, navigability, water supply for industry and energy generation, where it is needed for cooling. Winter and spring high flows may lead to flooding of floodplains and beyond, augmenting the need for hard (e.g. dikes) and soft (e.g. floodplain management) protection measures.
Reduction of precipitation in the form of snow in mountainous areas like the Alps will lead to a change in river discharge throughout the season. Instead of a peak in discharge in spring, river discharge will be more continuous throughout the year leading to changes in, for example, electricity production and flooding regime. As a result of snow reduction, ski tourism will likely decline, leading to loss of revenue for ski resorts.
Coastal areas are among the most vulnerable areas to climate changeclimate change
Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as modulations of the solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: 'a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods'. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributa, notably through projected sea level rise and associated coastal erosion. With global warming, the sea level will rise for centuries to come, which will result in more flooding, coastal erosion, storm surges and the likelihoodlikelihood
Probabilistic estimate of the occurrence of a single event or of an outcome, for example, a climate parameter, observed trend, or projected change lying in a given range. Likelihood may be based on statistical or modeling analyses, elicitation of expert views, or other quantitative analyses. of landward intrusion of saltwater endangering coastal ecosystems and wetlands. The marine environment itself is also vulnerable, especially the marine ecosystems which are impacted by increased CO2 which induces ocean acidification and temperature rise of the water. Expected rises in water temperatures will contribute to a restructuring of marine ecosystems with implications for fisheries. Ocean acidification as a consequence of dissolution of increased CO2 from the atmosphere can have very serious impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems, even though the oceans play a major role in absorbing atmospheric CO2 through the same process.
Please visit the Climate impactClimate impact
See Impact Assessment indicator toolkit for theme "Water" if you are interested in viewing available datasets and comparing them.