Sustainable Urban Water Environment
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Sustainable Urban Water Environment

Climate, Pollution and Adaptation

Ashantha Goonetilleke, Tan Yigitcanlar, Godwin A. Ayoko and Prasanna Egodawatta

This multi-disciplinary book provides practical solutions for safeguarding the sustainability of the urban water environment. Firstly, the importance of the urban water environment is highlighted and the major problems urban water bodies face and strategies to safeguard the water environment are explored. Secondly, the diversity of pollutants entering the water environment through stormwater runoff are discussed and modelling approaches for factoring in climate change and future urban and transport scenarios are proposed. Thirdly, by linking the concepts of sustainable urban ecosystems and sustainable urban and transport development, capabilities of two urban sustainability assessment models are demonstrated.
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Chapter 2: Changing climate and the water environment

Ashantha Goonetilleke, Tan Yigitcanlar, Godwin A. Ayoko and Prasanna Egodawatta


Climate change refers to the significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns. This could be a change in the average weather conditions such as the increase in the average Earth surface temperature (Hughes, 2003), or in the distribution of weather around average conditions such as an increasing number and frequency of extreme rainfall events or extreme droughts (IPCC, 2007a). Evidence of climate change is inferred by employing a range of sources to reconstruct the past climate. These sources may include, past meteorological records, vegetation, ice cores and geological data (Petit et al., 1999; Sahney et al., 2010). Changes in climate characteristics can be influenced by natural causes. However, it has been noted that climate change has accelerated due to a range of human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels and industrial activities resulting in increasing emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This in turn has led to an ever-increasing rise in the global average surface temperature (the average of near surface air temperature over land and sea) and this trend is predicted to accelerate in the future (IPCC, 2001). As the IPCC (2001) report has claimed, there is a discernible human influence on the global climate. This highlights the fact that compared to natural causes, anthropogenic activities are primarily responsible for the evident changes in climate characteristics.

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