Towards a Global History of Environment, Water and Climate

Water, Global Climate Change and Environmental Refugees
Chapter

Abstract

Water history enhances our understanding about the nexus between the human and physical worlds within specific temporal and spatial settings. Groundwater levels are falling throughout northern China. In India, they are dropping 1 to 3 m (3–10 ft) a year. In India, they are falling in most states, including the Punjab, the country’s bread basket. In the US, water levels are falling throughout the South Southwest. With 1,000 t of water required to produce 1 t of grain, food scarcity is closely tied to water scarcity. The world water deficit is historically recent. Only within the last half century, with the advent of powerful diesel and electricity driven pumps, has the world had the pumping capacity to deplete aquifers. Over pumping creates a false sense of food scarcity, it enables us to satisfy growing food needs today, but it almost guarantees a decline in food production tomorrow when the aquifer is depleted. The question of sustainability is very important.

Keywords

Cyclonic Storm Food Scarcity Natural Calamity Water History Powerful Diesel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Environmental HistoryJadavpur UniversityCalcuttaIndia

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