Global warming poses a real threat to cities, but planners in the Danish capital are taking visionary steps to ensure its resilience – and success – as far ahead as 2100.
Visualise the world in 2050: convex streets that collect water from superstorms and pocket parks that absorb heat and can be turned into reservoirs. Welcome to Copenhagen, where planners are preparing the city for the effects of climate change several generations from now...
Plans to boost food and energy production in one of West Africa’s most rapidly populating regions are likely to be put in jeopardy by water shortages brought about by rising temperatures, falling rainfall and increased evaporation, says a new report.
The Volta River is one of Africa’s main waterways. More than 24 million people in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo depend on the river and its tributaries for water. The output of hydro-electric plants on the river is also a key element in providing power for irrigation systems and for driving the region’s industrial growth.
The study, The Water Resource Implications of Changing Climate in the Volta River Basin by the International Water Management Institute and partner organisations, says there are indications that temperatures will rise by up to 3.6°C in the Volta River Basin over the next century – leading to significant water loss due to evaporation – while rainfall in the region could drop by 20%.
As a result water flows in the Volta and its tributaries could fall by 45%, “depriving the basin of water that countries are counting on to drive turbines and feed farms” says the study.
It says the decrease in water flows means that by 2100 hydro-electric power supplies on the Volta will fall – even with the addition of a number of new hydro-electric projects.
The Volta Basin is home to the massive Akosombo Dam, which has created Lake Volta, the world’s largest man-made lake by surface area and the world’s fourth largest reservoir in terms of volume. Next year the Bui Dam, a collaboration between Ghanaian and Chinese consortia, is due to come on stream, producing 400 MW for Ghana’s power grid.
"By 2030, two out of three people will live in an urban world, with most of the explosive growth occurring in developing countries. For a preview of the future, the last in the Challenges for Humanity series explores São Paulo, Brazil; Lagos, Nigeria; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hyderabad, India."
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