27 Aug Act Before It’s…GAME OVER!
Barbara Kalebić (ESR7)
Hi readers! I hope that you enjoyed this summer, that you had the opportunity to visit the sea, a lake, or a river, and felt the refreshment provided by water in combination with the sun. This magic combination relaxes even the tensest bodies and recharges our batteries to prepare our minds for the new tasks and duties that follow.
Since I believe that we are all still stunned by the heat and the holiday’s impressions, in this first post-summer break blog, I chose to write about one complex world issue via an imaginary world. My plan is to bring the impact of global warming on water closer to you through something that entertains you and simultaneously makes you think a little – a video game!
You don’t need to be fully concentrated but open-minded and aware that anything is possible.
Imagine yourself as a character in a video game whose aim is to balance a couple of parameters and find a sustainable way of managing the effects of global warming on water. You can choose between the following characters:
- disruption of the match between organisms and their local environment
- develop new technologies that reduce the anthropogenic environmental footprint
- reduce the industrial activities
- human destruction of the environmental balance in order to increase the quality of human life
- identifying key components and hot spots in the principal global nutrient and element cycles
- understanding the biological and chemical processes in water bodies
- changes in legal standards regarding environmental protection and new rules application difficulties
- knowledge of the law
- represent clients in legal issues (clean technology, water law, climate change law, and land management)
- extreme precipitation events and decrease in water quality
- measuring the properties of water bodies
- studying public water supply issues, including flood and drought effects on water quality and wetland habitats
- political barriers and danger
- Informing the public about extreme climate events, their consequences, and the ways the public can contribute to climate change mitigation
- The power of media in tackling global problems
You can choose one character and play with bots or with your friends, so you will always have the possibility of cooperation and synergy of these five professions.
The general aim of the game is to create sustainable conditions on the Earth for both humans and the environment. One depends on the other, of course, and vice versa. The game is based on keeping the four main parameters that are listed below within normal limits.
- Global air temperature (0.5 °C – 2.0 °C compare to pre-industrial levels),
- Water quality (WQI*: < 40 – poor, highest concern; 40–80 – moderate concern; > 80 – good, lowest concern),
- Carbon footprint (< 2 tons per person a year),
- Life satisfaction (red – not happy at all; orange – surviving; yellow – almost enjoying; green – fully enjoying).
In order to control these parameters, there are two different types of items that can be put or removed from the map. These items include the ones that absorbed CO2 – trees, glaciers; and those that release it in the atmosphere – industrial plants, traffic.
Your every action will result in a fast environmental reaction, which will create a couple of different scenarios that you need to handle. You need to keep in mind the complexity of the environment, but don’t forget the public requirements.
With climate change, rising air temperatures lead to higher rates of evaporation and plant transpiration, which can cause droughts. However, it consequently impacts the whole precipitation pattern, which provokes intense periods of precipitations and flooding.
Furthermore, the intense precipitation periods lead to increased runoff in the waterway that humans use for different applications and decrease water quality by pollution with pesticides and other toxic substances from the soil. One of the expected results of increased water pollution is algal blooms. Overgrowths of algae produce “dead zones” in the water where aquatic flora and fauna cannot survive because of the lack of oxygen and light.
But that is not all. Rising air temperatures increase water temperatures as well. Higher water temperatures are associated with reduced dissolved oxygen levels in water bodies which place significant, additional stress on aquatic animals.
So it is of great challenge to find an effective and available strategy to mitigate the global warming impact on water and simultaneously make people on the map called Earth as happy as they can be. Maintaining all the parameters within limits keeps you away from GAME OVER.
The main question is still – how can you use your skills and knowledge to direct a world towards a more sustainable future for all?
Do you already have your strategy? 😉
Then, let’s play and see what’ll happen!
*Water Quality Index