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PRAGUE — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released alarming data on the consequences of global warming in some of the world’s poorest regions. By 2100, 1 billion to 3 billion people worldwide are expected to suffer from water scarcity. Global warming will increase evaporation and severely reduce rainfalls — by up to 20 percent in the Middle East and North Africa — with the amount of water available per person possibly halved by midcentury in these regions.

This sudden scarcity of an element whose symbolic and spiritual importance matches its centrality to human life will cause stress and exacerbate conflicts worldwide. Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia will be the first to be exposed. The repercussions, however, will be global.

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