There are a number of regions around the globe where populations get their drinking water from snow melting off of nearby mountains and draining into rivers. One area in the United States particularly threatened by global warming is Southern California. The snow on top of the nearby Sierra Nevadas is disappearing, and winters are not bringing the snow back as much as they once did. Los Angeles and other cities are increasingly plagued by water shortages as a result. Current estimates guess that 25 percent of the snowpack in the state will be gone by 2050, causing major stress on a state that has seen massive population growth. Meanwhile, drought in the Southwest has caused lakes and rivers to dry up. Economic losses as a result of crop damage, livestock deaths, and loss of tourism in the region were estimated to be around $1.3 billion.
The Sahara Desert, just 10,000 years ago, was a rich grassland habitat populated by elephants, lions, and many other species. Today, it is the world’s largest desert, and it is expanding at an alarming rate. (NASA).