Login Sign up for FREE

Rivers as weapons of war – and warnings of climate change

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 22 2023 · 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Climate Change · Effects · illuminemX

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in Forbes or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news Historically, rivers have served as strategic weapons in wars, with armies either breaching dams to create flash floods or rerouting rivers to cause artificial droughts: these strategies are now mimicked by the consequences of climate change

🔭 The context: Dam failure is becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change
• The ongoing climate crisis is changing hydrological patterns, with warmer air able to hold more moisture, leading to more intense rainfall and subsequently higher flood levels

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The risks associated with dam failures are increasing, which can result in devastating floods
• Research indicates that by 2050, 20% of existing hydropower dams could be in areas with the highest flood risk, up from the current 4%

⏭️ What's next: There are various strategies to reduce risks associated with dam failure, including retrofitting spillways, managing watersheds, improving monitoring and forecasting, and removing ageing and obsolete dams
• Countries should also consider giving rivers more room to spread out, avoid new development in flood-prone areas, and prioritize infrastructure maintenance

💬 One quote: "Meeting our climate targets will maintain risk within more manageable boundaries. However, hydrological patterns have already intensified—and will continue to intensify, even if we achieve our climate goals—such that investment in adaptation will still be required."(Jeff Opperman, global lead scientist for freshwater)

📈 One stat: The United Nations estimates that current annual investments in climate adaptation are only 5-10% of what is needed, illustrating the vast gap in necessary funding for infrastructure maintenance and climate change adaptation efforts

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - providing you with concise summaries of the most important sustainability news of the day.

Follow us on Linkedin, Twitter​ & Instagram

Other Illuminem Voices

Kapil Narula
Sep 21 2023
Accelerating SDG 13 through international cooperation for ambitious climate action
Accelerating SDG 13 through international cooperation for ambitious climate action
Renato F. Rallo
Sep 21 2023
Climate change is a peaceful world problem
Climate change is a peaceful world problem