'Water, Food, and Energy Security: Scrambling for Resources or Solutions?', (2013) WIREs Water, DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1004
Their paper deals with the water-energy-food 'trilemma' or nexus.
Anthropogenic-induced climate changes and population growth projected by 2050, combined with global economic growth driven by emerging markets, suggest that greater stress will be placed on water, food, and energy resources in the future. These resources are interdependent and are linked in a complex global network of trade. As pressures on the three resources grow, three-way interactions arise so that a solution to address scarcity in one cannot be achieved without impact on the others. The water security, food security, and energy security trilemma creates a multidimensional web that is a structurally complex network with dynamic links among resources that vary in both weight and direction. Because structure affects function, characterizing the network anatomy that links the resources in three-way interactions is helpful when setting goals to meet resource security. We argue that water plays a central role in shaping interactions and that the main scarcity issues occur with trade-offs between thermoelectric power generation and agriculture, between hydroelectric power generation and agriculture, and between biofuel production and food production. Three illustrations—the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin in the southeastern United States, the island nation of Sri Lanka, and Brazil—capture the main three-way interactions that we have identified. Although the problems that strew the path to global sustainability are massive, we suggest alternatives along both technological and nontechnological paths to meet future needs.
“The physics [of climate change] is relatively simple: as we warm the atmosphere, the weather systems that move in from the Atlantic contain more moisture, so they dump more rain.” — Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford in The Guardian (thanks to Emily Green)