Water for the Recovery of the Climate - A New Water Paradigm
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Ing. Michal Kravčík, CSc., (1956) completed his studies in Waterworks Construction and Water Management at the Slovak Technical University and worked for the Institute of Hydrology and Hydraulics and the Institute of Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He is the founder of the People and Water NGO, a holder of the Goldman Environmental Prize and a member of ASHOKA: Innovators for the Public, an international network of innovators who work for public welfare. He is the most prominent representative of the People and Water NGO, which has been awarded the EU-USA Prize for Democracy and Civil Society Development.
RNDr. Jan Pokorný, CSc., (1946) completed his studies at the Natural Sciences Faculty at Charles University in Prague. He is the director general of the beneficial society ENKI, a scientific staffer at the Institute for Systems Biology and Ecology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the co-author of a number of patents, a university lecturer, a member of the international scientific panel of the Natural Resources Commission for the Australian government and a member of the scientific technology panel of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for Central and Eastern Europe.
Ing. Juraj Kohutiar (1961), completed his studies in Waterworks Construction and Water Management at the Slovak Technical University, worked at the Institute of Hydrology and Hydraulics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and at present cooperates as a consultant with the People and Water NGO.
Ing. Martin Kováč (1972), completed his studies in Waterworks Construction and Water Management at the Slovak Technical University, worked in the area of protection of the national cultural heritage, was the co-founder and the first director of the National Trust in Slovakia, is a member of international network ASHOKA. At present he works as specialist for anti-flood prevention at the Association of Cities and Municipalities of Slovakia.
RNDr. Eugen Tóth (1964), completed studies at the Mathematics-Physics Faculty of Comenius University. He works in the field of information systems with a focus on geographic information systems (GIS) and agricultural land. He cooperates with the NGO People and Water as a project manager.
In the past decades we have received a lot of information on man made climate change due to increasing CO2 levels. I can see the climate becoming more erratic, more extreme, so I know by my own observation and the observations of many others that something is happening. But I miss something quite essential when we point only to CO2, because humans in the past century (and before but in a less destructive way) have totally altered our landscape as well. That is bound to have effects too! And when we understand those effects it will help us find additional answers on what to do to at least try to mitigate climate change.
I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns because it offers us an extensive further explanation on how one of the major climate balancing system, the rain cycles, also got out of whack. Unfortunately the book gets hardly any attention. I hope at Permies we can shine a light on it. It's available for free download so everybody can read it.
The authors build their case on the man made changes to our worldwide landscape through growing cities, extensive monoculture on otherwise bare soils, deforestation, excessive drainage applied everywhere, and how that interacts with the two water cycles they identify: the small and the large water cycle. They connect the cycling of water to solar radiation and how it has a different effect on forested and vegetated areas, opposed to areas with less vegetation, or even bare concrete surfaces. A lack of evaporation means less cooling or even heating of the atmosphere. They list a lot of cascading effects and findings, I will only mention the main ones.
The large water cycle brings water from the oceans to the land. That mostly happens in bigger and more violent storms. The small water cycle then recycles part of the water that fell in these big storms into lighter more frequent rain. They argue that because we drain the land, through deforestation, through bare landscapes used in agriculture, through hard surfaces in growing cities, etc we are diminishing the small water cycle. This in turn leads to less rain and when it finally rains it's the big storms from the large water cycle.
They go on explaining how the sun warms the earth and how vegetation and water in the soils cool the climate. Loosing this cooling effect, on bare land and in cities, creates islands of heat which further drive away the small water cycle rains from these areas. Instead of the rain falling spread more evenly it now concentrates more, falling mainly in the cooler mountains. This in turn leads to more flashfloods when the rain comes rushing down the watersheds They don't stop there. Draining the landscape over longer periods of time leads to a small net loss of water on the land, which then flows through rivers to the sea adding to the rise in sea water level.
The authors call for a new water paradigm, to give water it's role back in our landscape. It's something we already know in permaculture, but still it's good to get it confirmed from a different source with a different viewpoint. Let's get this book the attention it deserves! I think they state their case very well and permaculture sure helps in restoring the water cycles back to their needed influence on our climate.
more about land (mis)use
the good thing about this is that we can correct it
and benefit from the correction
rather than having to be punished for past "misdeeds"
Land’s complex role in climate change
To mitigate climate change at local, regional, and global scales, we must begin to think beyond greenhouse gases.
By focusing only on greenhouse gases and warming, we diminish our ability to respond to the diversity of human influences on climate and to the effects of natural variability and long-term change. In a 2005 article on NASA’s Earth Observatory website, Gordon Bonan of the National Center for Atmospheric Research framed the issue in no uncertain terms: “Nobody experiences the effect of a half a degree increase in global mean temperature…. Land cover change is as big an influence on regional and local climate and weather as doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide—perhaps even bigger.”3
In this article we argue that the impacts of modification and management of the land and other human effects on climate merit the same level of research and policy attention given to greenhouse gas effects. The inherent complexity of accounting for all those factors will require redefining the way we think about the risks of climate change.
why do I smell "cider"?
I didn't do it. You can't prove it. Nobody saw me. The sheep are lying! This tiny ad is my witness!
Solar ovens, haybox cooker - What would you build to go with a rocket oven?https://permies.com/t/89917/Solar-ovens-haybox-cooker-build