(bis heute stehen 450 klimarelevante wissenschaftliche Artikel zur Verfügung)

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1.   LEBENSELIXIER WASSER – betrachtet aus der Sicht von Natur- und Gesellschaftswissenschaften

Ohne Wasser kein Leben – das wussten die Menschen schon von ihrer Frühzeit an. Viele Riten und Gebräuche aus den verschiedenen Kulturen legen Zeugnis ab von der Unentbehrlichkeit, aber auch von den Gefahren, die das Wasser mit sich bringen kann. Auch in den Sprachen ist »Wasser« ein hervortretender Begriff, der
in direkten und indirekten Bedeutungen verwendet wird. Der Bedeutung des Wassers trägt auch die Entwicklung verschiedener Zweige der Wasserforschung Rechnung. Heute weiß man, dass der Stoff Wasser, der in flüssiger, fester und gasförmiger Form auftritt, in physikalischer und chemischer Hinsicht Besonderheiten aufweist, ohne die die oberflächennahen Sphären der Erde ebenso wie das Klima und die natürlichen Kreisläufe nicht so sein könnten, wie sie sind, und die für die Entwicklung des Lebens wie der Zivilisation notwendig sind. Das A und O der Wasserversorgung im allgemeinsten Sinne ist der globale Wasserkreislauf mit seinen engen Koppelungen zu Wetter und Klima sowie zur gesamten Natur. Die nachfolgenden Beiträge legen dazu wichtige Grundlagen und geben Einblicke in einige Facetten des Gesamtthemas.

1.   ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE – water in view of natural sciences

WITHOUT WATER NO LIFE – MANKIND KNEW THIS ALREADY SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES. MANY RITES AND CUSTOMS, BUTALSO TECHNICAL PLANTS FROM THE DIFFERENT CULTURES GIVE EVIDENCE FOR THE INDISPENSABILITY OF WATER, BUT ALSO FOR THE DANGERS CONNECTED WITH WATER IN ITS DIFFERENT FORMS OF APPEARANCE. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRANCHES OF WATER RESEARCH CORRESPONDS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER. TODAY IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT THE SUBSTANCE WATER IN ITS SOLID, LIQUID AND GASEOUS PHASE SHOWS PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PECULIARITIES. COMPARED WITH SIMILAR CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS ONLY WATER HAS SUCH ANOMALIES. WITHOUT THESE THE OCEANS, THE GLOBAL ENERGY AND MATERIAL CYCLES AS WELL AS THE CONTINENTS WITH THEIR VEGETATION, LAKES, RIVERS AND SO ON INCLUDING MANY ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES COULD NOT EXIST AS WE KNOW THEM. WATER IS THE PREREQUISITE OF LIFE AND OUR CIVILIZATION. THE ORIGIN OF ANY WATER SUPPLY FOR MAN IS THE GLOBAL WATER CYCLE WITH ITS MANIFOLD COUPLINGS TO WEATHER AND CLIMATE AS WELL AS TO NATURE AS A WHOLE. THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTIONS GIVE IMPORTANT BASIC KNOWLEDGE AND A GOOD INSIGHT INTO MANY FEATURES OF THE WATER PROBLEM.

 

1.1 Wasser als Grundlage des Lebens (José L. Lozán, Ludwig Karbe & Ulrich Neukirch)

1.1 Water as the basis of life (José L. Lozán, Sabine Meyer & Ludwig Karbe)

Water as basis of life: Without water the Earth would be a dead desert. Water is a pre-requisite for life and is involved in almost all processes of life and it has many functions in the climate system as well. All organisms contain 50–90% water; some aquatic organisms even 99%. If water becomes scarce or has poor quality, plants and animals die. Man has to drink two liters of water per day. The function of water cannot be substituted by any other substance. 94.23% of the whole water on Earth is salty and unsuitable for drinking and irrigation. 1.92% is frozen in glaciers and snow. 3.84% is ground water. Only 0.02% occur as liquid fresh water on the Earth‘s surface and it is distributed very inhomogeneously. Already today 20% of the world population are suffering from scarcity of water. Water will be the most important
substance during this century and therefore we need a global water policy guided by the United Nations.