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Global Warming: Confusion of Cause with Effect?

  • Marco SchmidtEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The New Water Paradigm opens up an alternative approach to the climate debate. Rather than explain drought as a consequence of global warming by carbon emissions, this new approach addresses landscape dehydration as a key cause than rather key effect of global warming. The argument is based on the fact that solar energy is converted and a cooling occurs when water evaporates on Earth’s surface and water vapour condenses in the atmosphere as clouds.

However, modern urban expansion, global deforestation and desertification reduce evapotranspiration. In turn, reduced evaporation results in increasing short-wave solar radiation which is converted to long-wave thermal emissions and sensible heat. The result is that higher surface temperatures creating heat island effects over cities, contribute to local, regional and ultimately, global climate change challenges. Rainwater harvesting promises a major mitigation strategy against increased temperatures and drought. Urban water management can be enhanced by the ecological design of green roofs, evaporative facades, and ground permeable surfaces combined with vegetation. This paper demonstrates the application of these New Water Paradigm principles in Germany.

Keywords

Evaporation Evapotranspiration Global warming Vegetation Urbanization Water cycle 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The analysis is part of the project KURAS on sustainable rainwater systems, mainly funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the FONA initiative (Research for Sustainable Development). The KURAS project tries to find new approaches on sustainable decentralizing rainwater management and wastewater systems (www.kuras-projekt.de). The project involves 13 partners and is part of a call from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on sustainable water infrastructure.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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