Water Cycle, Biodiversty & Global Warming

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Describes the role of biodiversity in water cycle and impact of global warming in their integrated relationships.

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Dr. Satish Chile Department of Botany Govt. P.G. College, Seoni (M.P.), India

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How will this beautiful site look without water ?

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Water give excitement in the life

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The waves of water bring waves of happiness in the life

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A glass of water has to travel through many ecosystems after which it is cleansed and made fit for human consumption.

The importance of water:

The importance of water Water is crucial element of our food and materials 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. only 2.5 %, is fresh. 1. 5 % is locked in polar ice caps. Only1% of the water is available for human community. Much of this water contain chemicals making it inappropriate for human consumption. On average we have sufficient water to meet human needs. The problem is water distribution.

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About 2.8 billion people-more than 40% of the world’s population experience some sort of scarcity of water. In Sub-sahara Africa, South Asia, west Asia and part of south America. Over one million people lack access to safe water. Roughly two million people die annually by water borne diseases any many more suffer.

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Water quality concerns -water born diseases

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Waterborne diseases. Up to 50 % malnutrition is the result of water borne intestinal diseases due to unclean water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Even malaria is related to poor water management. When water is scars it is hoarded provided shallow ground for mosquito breeding. Water quality concerns in the tropics are not limited to human health. Contamination of water by arsenic and mercury in mining activities are major concerns in the tropical forest. Such contamination is hazardous to the forest ecosystems and their bio-diversity. Exposure to environmental health risks in early childhood leads to permanent growth faltering, lowered immunity and increased mortality. . Social Concerns.

. Social Concerns. :

. Social Concerns. Poor water quality, sanitation, hygiene and inadequate water resource management accounts for half of the causative factors behind childhood and maternal underweight and hence stunted child growth.

Heterogeneity of water :

Heterogeneity of water There are differences in water availability within regions-in Brazil, Mexico, California, Hawaii, Russia, there are regions of floods and surpluses and deserts. Differences in water availability over time matter - at the same year you may have floods and shortages Differences in water quality are crucial- consumption, farming of various crops and production require minimum quality. Value and use of water dependent on location Time Quality

Different uses of water :

Different uses of water consumptive usage is diversion + consumption of the water through transforming it into water vapor (where it is “lost” to the atmosphere), letting it seep into the ground, or significantly degrading its quality. For example Residential Industrial Agricultural Forestry

Different uses of water:

Different uses of water non-consumptive usage. Do not educe water supply and, frequently, do not degrade water quality. Examples Fisheries use water as a medium for fish growth. Hydroelectric users extract energy from the water. Recreation may involve using water as a medium (example: swimming) and/or extracting energy from the water (examples: white-water rafting, surfing) Transportation is especially important use of water in the tropics.

Water as complement to other factors:

Water as complement to other factors Species evolution (distribution and survival) depend on and adjust to water conditions ... Plants have shallower roots when water is abundant. Water abundance is key to tropical ecosystems. But they are vulnerable to water shortages. Draught is a relative concept- Water affects the state of other factors . Water movement causes soil erosion, drown wild life and destroys property. It lead to migration of species and changes in bio-diversity. Water productivity depends on other factors. For example Climate

Other effects:

Other effects Environmental cost Habitat destruction Blocking migration of native species Increased salinity levels in freshwater supplies Water logging and salinization of land- Cost 11Billion annually 20% of the irrigated land worldwide is affected by salinity 1.5 million hectares are taken out of production each year as a result of high salinity levels in the soil. Decreased levels of sediment and nutrients in water

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Water never leaves the Earth. It is constantly being cycled through the atmosphere, ocean, and land. This process, known as the water cycle , is driven by energy from the sun. The water cycle is crucial to the existence of life on our planet.

Hydrological cycle:

Water circulates through the environments. Movements of water on, above and below the surface of the earth as ice, liquid and vapor. Water constantly over and under the ground, evaporates into the atmosphere mostly through plants and then recycles as rains and snow. It is fundamental way in which earth’s 0.027 % water continuously available to living creature on land for all activity. This cycles continued since water first appeared on the earth. Hydrological cycle

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About 62 % vaporization takes place through transpiration annually in the global renewal. Deforestation affecting local rain falls may lead to desertification Evaporation is followed by condensation and precipitation. Besides run off, water seeps as under ground water. Underground water forms the major sorce of drinking water.

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Hydrological cycle works quickly above the ground. It takes months or years to recharge and rehabilitate surface water. But ground water can be recharged in the order of hundred years. Hence, ground water once degraded, can be extremely difficult- sometimes impossible – t0 cleanse and restore.

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Figure 2: The hydrological cycle

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Interrelations among environmental components of the global water cycle

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Global Warming

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Global warming has been posing serious problems both in water cycle and Biodiversity. From 1980 to the end of the 21st century, temperatures are projected to increase by 1.8°C to 4.0°C. Global average sea level is expected to rise by 18 to 59 cm by the end of the 21st century.

Other projected changes :

Other projected changes Acidification of the oceans, Reduced snow cover and sea ice, More frequent heat waves and heavy precipitation, More intense tropical cyclones, and slower oceanic currents, Temperature rise, Melting of polar ice, Increase of sea level Decrease of salinity of sea water., Depletion of ozone layer and Change of seasonal pattern.

Role of Biodiversity:

Role of Biodiversity Ecosystems and Biodiversity plays major roles in water cycles. Vegetation and soils drive the movement of water. Undisturbed ecosystems provide water which is safe to drink in streams, lakes and well. This supply of water is a ‘Service’ that the environment provides

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Biodiversity underpins the ability of the nature to provide this service by sustaining the continuous recycling of water through hydrological cycle. Forest → Transevaporation →Percolation Deforestation → Soil erosion → loss of land productivity → Less percolation Willows (Salicaceae) root stores lot of water and oozes out drops → ‘Chasmas’ Bromeliaceous plants stores water.

Biodiversity vs. water purification:

Biodiversity vs. water purification Wetland plants remove high level of P & N from drinking water. Removes toxic substances and heavy metals. They can store 1 lack times more toxic substances in their tissues. Sacred Basil and Reed grasses are examples.

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Value of a Tree A tree that lives for 50 years generates: Rs. 5.3 lakhs worth of oxygen RS. 10.0 Lakhs worth water cycle Facilitates Rs. 6.4 lakhs worth of soil erosion control Creates Rs. 10.5 lakhs worth of air pollution control Provides Rs. 5.3 lakhs worth of shelter for birds and animals

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Recycles Rs. 6.4 lakhs worth of fertility Besides provide flower, fruits and timber When a tree is fell it is something worth more than Rs. 33. 9 lakhs. ….Value of a Tree

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Forested riparian wetlands play a vital role as buffers to ameliorate the impacts of floods. Forested wetlands also have tremendous value with regards to their biodiversity since the varying habitat types result in a significant array of biological communities. One prime example of the unique biodiversity that results from forested wetlands is the relationship between trees and fish in the flooded forests of the Amazon. At least 200 different species of fish have developed molars to crush seeds, nuts, and fruit, and these fish, in turn, help to disperse the trees’ seeds.

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The tambaqui ( Colossoma macropomum ) is uniquely adapted to the flooded forests of the Amazon. It feeds on seeds and fruit for most of the year, a practice that has yielded significant adaptations in both the plants and fish in the area. The tambaqui has developed molars to help crush fruit and seeds, as well as nasal flaps to help it find fallen fruit in the water. Since many trees rely on these fish to disperse their seeds, they have evolved to make their fruit easy for the fish to find by producing fragrant oils, resins, latexes, and acids that attract the fish. Some other fish species spit out the seeds intact or defecate them whole in a new location where they can then grow into new trees.

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If, for example, upstream foresters were to cut down their trees to sell the timber, downstream users would suffer from decreased water quality, lower catchments, and increased flooding and erosion. As a result, great strides have been made in many areas to ensure “hydrosolidarity” between upstream forest managers and downstream water users.

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In modern technology desalination and water treatment are cost prohibitive. Here lies the values of Biodiversity. Reviving ecosystem involves restoration of Biodiversity that supports drinking water provision → Economic approach.

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In relation to drinking water- ‘Biodiversity’ is just not about the ‘conservation of species’. Biodiversity maintains ecosystem functions and services needed to sustain drinking water supplies.

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Thank You

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