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1.

Introduction
Increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has come to a consensus.
Some of the major greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, water
vapour are found naturally in the atmosphere. They play a critical role to maintain heat
equilibrium of the earth by trapping the outgoing heat. However, different human activities
are releasing large quantities of these gases into the atmosphere and this has resulted in
increased concentration of these gases in the atmosphere through time (ICCP 2007a). IPCC
also states that increased concentrations of these gases trap escaping energy and accumulate
in the atmosphere and consequently result in global climate change. The obvious effect of
climate change has been an increase in global temperature and altered precipitation pattern.
According to the most recent scientific study by intergovernmental panel for climate change
IPCC (2007a), the global average temperature has increased by about 0.74
o
C in the last
hundred years up to 2006 and since 1850, eleven of the twelve hottest years recorded between
1995 and 2006. This warming has been having substantial effect on the hydrological cycle
associated with changes in hydrological components such as modifying precipitation and
runoff pattern, shrinking mountainous glaciers, snow and ice melting and enhancing
evaporation(ICCP2007a). This global change effect on water resources has been investigated
by many researchers in different parts of the world. For example, Chen et al. (2007) in their
investigation indicated that there was an increasing trend in precipitation and temperature in
the Tarim river basin of china due to climate change. Durdu (2010) studied the effect of
climate change on water resources of Byk Menders river basin in Turkey. He found that
there was a decreasing trend of stream flow in the tributaries with changes in temperature and
precipitation. Chowdhury & Al-Zahrani (2013) investigated the effect of climate change on
water resources in Saudi Arabiya. They state that significant reductions in water sources
reduction due to climate change can impose further stress on agriculture and drinking water
sources and deteriorate quality of water resources. The aim here is to discuss the effect of
climate change on water resources. Particular attention is given to climate change effects on
water availability and scarcity, water quality and environmental water and then conclusion
and concluding remark is at last provided.
The aim here is to discuss the effect of climate change on water resources. Particular attention
is given to climate change effects on water availability and scarcity, water quality and
environmental water and then conclusion is finally provided.

1.1 Environmental water
The effect of climate change on environmental water could be associated with effects on
wetlands due to modified precipitation, a shift in aquatic species distribution and
disappearance due to warming temperature and rising sea level. As wetland ecosystems
mainly depend on water levels, reduction in precipitation pattern due to climate change will
lead to wetlands dry and this is likely to have a significant impact on aquatic flora and fauna
and associated species which will further result in disappearance and migration of habitats
(Dawson, Berr, & Kampa2003). Withey and Van (2011) estimate the potential effect of
climate change on wetlands in the prairie pothole region of western Canada. They found that
climate change could decrease wetlands by between 7 and 47% in the study area and will
have an adverse impact on agricultural ecosystems and the region's ability to produce
waterfowl.
Warm water temperature due to global warming could lead to a shift in distribution and
population of aquatic species. As waters become warmer, the existing aquatic life may be
replaced by other species better adapted to the warmer water (i.e., cold water fish may be
replaced by warm water fish (EPA 2013). In addition to shifting in population and
distribution of aquatic species, warm water temperature will also increase risk of extinction of
species already listed as threatened (Field et al. 2007, p. 631). The productivity of aquatic
species could also decline due to variation in water temperature. For example, O'reilly et al.
(2003) studied the effect of climate change on productivity of aquatic ecosystem of Lake
Tanganyika in Africa. They found that primary productivity may have decreased by about
20%, implying a roughly 30% decrease in fish yields. The other effect of a rising water
temperature due to climate change is affecting the self-purification capacity of water bodies
by reducing the amount of oxygen content that can be dissolved and used for biodegradation
(IPCC2007b). Rising sea level due to warming temperature and flood also leads to
salinization of wetlands and result disappearance of salt intolerant species (Nicholls2004). It
is clear that modified precipitation, warm water temperature and sea level rise due to global
warming could affect wetlands and its associated species.
Sea level
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378003000815
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138104700321
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800910004726
http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11852-010-0114-3.pdf


the effect of changing precipitation on wetlands





http://nca2009.globalchange.gov/water-resources
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/water.html#ref1


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Warming temperature due to climate change affects the snow and ice melting time
causing shorter snow season and earlier snow melt which, in turn can significantly reduce
water availability in many parts of the world that depend on their water source from rivers or
streams fed by the seasonal melting of glaciers and snow packs. Warmer temperature will
also increase actual evaporation from open water surfaces such as the ocean and lakes, rivers
and other surface water sources (IPCC 2008, P.29) and may result in significant water loss
and further impose water stress. The change in precipitation patterns due to climate
change also affects water resources availability. warmer temperature due to climate change
can rise sea level due to the thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of ice and snow.
Rising sea level will increase the salinity of ground water due to salt water intrusion into
aquifers and fresh wash water sources and these can in turn threat water supply in coastal
areas that depend on these sources for both domestic and agricultural purpose. warmer
temperature can favour the growth of different aquatic plants which affect the quality of
water in terms of changing odour and taste. changing precipitation pattern may make stream
flows reduced or favour excessive storm events. When streams flow decline, the contaminant
dilution capacity will also decline due to reduction in water volume and result in higher
pollutant concentration, including pathogens. Heavy rain events will also lead to washing of
different pollutants (organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, etc) from different land surfaces
and transport in to water bodied. As wetland ecosystems mainly depend on water levels,
reduction in precipitation pattern due to climate change will lead to wetlands dry and this is
likely to have a significant impact on aquatic flora and fauna and associated species which
will further result in disappearance and migration of habitats. Warm water temperature due to
global warming could lead to a shift in distribution and population of aquatic species