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Hydropower potential (theoretical possitibility for electricity generation) Hydropower potential (theoretical possitibility for electricity generation)
xHydropower, generating electricity through turbines, represents a clean and renewable energy source, but not without problems. Dams and reservoirs disrupt the natural flow, and may increase siltation and evaporation, in addition to severe impacts for wildlife, for instance migrating fish. The gross theoretical capability, presented in this map, represents a calculation based on the topography and precipitation in the countries, and is the amount...
20 Jul 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin Intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin
Global average temperature increased by 0.6 ° C over the last century, while sea levels rose by 9 to 20 cm. The IPCC projects increases in the global average surface temperature by between 1.4°C and 5.8°C and in sea level by between 9 and 88 cm. Sea level rise in combination with hurricane landfalls presents one of the greatest climate-related hazards in tropical Latin America. From 1945 to 1990 there had been an overall decrease in the number ...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World's surface water: precipitation, evaporation and runoff World's surface water: precipitation, evaporation and runoff
The world's surface water is affected by different levels of precipitation, evaporation and runoff in different regions. This graphic illustrates the different rates at which these processes affect the major regions of the world, and the resulting uneven distribution of freshwater. It shows the amount of precipitation in cubic kilometres for each region, and the percentage of that amount which evaporates or becomes runoff. The text below the grap...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World's water cycle: schematic and residence time World's water cycle: schematic and residence time
The water cycle consists of precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and runoff. This graphic explains the global water cycle, showing how nearly 577 000 km3 of water circulates through the cycle each year. A table of estimated residence times of the world's water shows the estimated times that water resources exist as biospheric water; atmospheric water; river channels; swamps; lakes and reservoirs; soil moisture; ice caps and glaciers; oc...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in water consumption and evaporation Trends in water consumption and evaporation
Throughout the 20th century, global water use has increased in the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors. Evaporation from reservoirs has increased at a slower rate. Projections indicate that both global water use and evaporation will continue to increase. This graphic compares industrial and domestic water consumption as a whole with evaporation from reservoirs, in cubic kilometres per year. The time period covered is 1900 to 2010 (asses...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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River runoff by continent, 1921-1985 River runoff by continent, 1921-1985
River runoff represents the accumlated water, from preciptation and meltwater, that feeds into rivers that feeds into seas. The estimated annual figures in this graphic is what volume of water that ends up in the World Ocean. Factors influencing this volume is primarily the area that drains (e.g. area of continent), precipitation and evaporation. Tropical regions typically exhibit greater river runoff volumes. The Amazon carries 15% of all the wa...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends and forecasts in water use, by sector Trends and forecasts in water use, by sector
Throughout the 20th century, global water use has increased in the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors. Evaporation from reservoirs has increased at a slower rate. Projections indicate that both global water use and evaporation will continue to increase. This graphic shows water consumption, withdrawal and waste, in cubic kilometres per year, for the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors, and shows evaporation from reservoirs. T...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Regulation in the Volga river, 1934 compared to 1999 Regulation in the Volga river, 1934 compared to 1999
The construction of a large number of dams and industrial facilities on the rivers feeding the Caspian has caused a significant change in the quantity of water inflow. The creation of a succession of large reservoirs, especially on the lower and middle Volga, has led to significant losses in flow rate due to additional evaporation from the surface of the water.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Water flow from the Caspian Sea to the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol, 1930-2000 Water flow from the Caspian Sea to the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol, 1930-2000
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. Soviet leaders maintained that this was “a useless caldron for evaporation, an insatiable mouth swallowing up the precious water of the Caspian Sea” and obviously to blame. The dam, finished in 1980 blocked the flow of the water between the Caspian Sea and Kara-Bogaz-Gol. This reduced the water levels in the bay while increasing d...
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caspian Sea - salinity Caspian Sea - salinity
The Caspian Sea has internal drainage, which means that it does not have an outlet to the World Ocean. All water entering the sea accumulates or evaporates. The sea surface salinity in the sea exhibits a gradient, with the semi-encludes bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol having the most saline water. This bay was closed between 1980 and 1992.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hydropower potential (theoretical possitibility for electricity generation) Hydropower potential (theoretical possitibility for electricity generation)
Hydropower, generating electricity through turbines, represents a clean and renewable energy source, but not without problems. Dams and reservoirs disrupt the natural flow, and may increase siltation and evaporation, in addition to severe impacts for wildlife, for instance migrating fish. The gross theoretical capability, presented in this map, represents a calculation based on the topography and precipitation in the countries, and is the amount ...
20 Jul 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The water cycle The water cycle
Environment water transport system. The water cycle consists of precipitation, vapour transport, evaporation, evapo-transpiration, infiltration, groundwater flow and runoff. Figure 1 explains the global water cycle, illustrating how nearly 577,000 km3 of water circulates through the cycle each year. A table of estimated residence times shows the approximate times that water resources exist as biospheric water, atmospheric water and so on. The w...
01 Feb 2008 - by Philippe Rekacewicz , UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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More water evaporates from reservoirs than is consumed by humans More water evaporates from reservoirs than is consumed by humans
Throughout the 20th century, global water use has increased in the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors. Evaporation from reservoirs has increased at a slower rate. Projections indicate that both global water use and evaporation will continue to increase.
26 Jan 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz)
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World's surface water: evaporation and runoff World's surface water: evaporation and runoff
Because much of the world’s surface water is far from concentrations of human settlements, not all of it is readily usable. Some facts concerning global freshwater concentrations: - It is estimated that the freshwater available for human consumption varies between 12,500 km3 and 14,000 km3 each year (Hinrichsen et al., 1998; Jackson et al., 2001). - Many countries in Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, and some eastern European countries ha...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz (Le Monde diplomatique), February 2006
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Trends in global water use by sector Trends in global water use by sector
The greyband represents in the difference between the amount of water extracted and that actually consumed. Water may be extracted, used, recycled (or returned to rivers or aquifers) and reused several times over. Consumption is final use of water, after which it can no longer be reused. That extractions have increase at a much faster rate is an indication of how much more intensively we can now exploit water. Only a fraction of water extracted i...
26 Jan 2009 - by GRID-Arendal
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Freshwater resources: volume by continent Freshwater resources: volume by continent
Glaciers and ice caps cover about 10% of the world’s landmass. These are concentrated in Greenland and Antarctica and contain 70% of the world’s freshwater. Unfortunately, most of these resources are located far from human habitation and are not readily accessible for human use. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 96% of the world’s frozen freshwater is at the South and North Poles, with the remaining 4% spread over 550,000 k...
01 Oct 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz (Le Monde diplomatique)
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