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How can climate change has impact on water pollution?
Higher water temperatures and changes in the timing, intensity, and duration of precipitation can affect water quality. Higher temperatures reduce dissolved oxygen levels, which can have an effect on aquatic life. [ Where streamflow and lake levels fall, there will be less dilution of pollutants; however, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall will produce more pollution and sedimentation due to runoff (IPCC, 2007). Flood magnitudes and frequencies will very likely increase in most regions — mainly a result of increased precipitation intensity and variability — and increasing
temperatures are expected to intensify the climate's hydrologic cycle and melt snowpacks more rapidly (IPCC, 2007). Flooding can affect water quality, as large volumes of water can transport contaminants into water bodies and also overload storm and wastewater systems. Higher temperatures, particularly in the summer, earlier snowmelt, and potential decreases in summer precipitation could increase risk of drought. The frequency and intensity of floods and droughts could increase, even in the same areas. Sea level rise may also affect freshwater quality by increasing the salinity of coastal rivers and bays and causing saltwater intrusion, movement of saline water into fresh ground water resources in coastal regions. Changes in water quality could have implications for all types of uses. For example, higher temperatures and changes in water supply and quality could affect recreational use of lakes and rivers or productivity of freshwater fisheries. Certain species of fish could find temperatures too warm and migrate to more northern or higher altitude locations where water is cooler. ]
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Expert answered|selymi|Points 8112|
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Asked 4/27/2012 4:40:31 AM
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