Third Trumpet and Bowl in Revelation

Chapter 11 – Terrestrial Waters in Revelation and Science

Revelation says that a third of earth’s fresh water will cause great suffering and death. Science says that a third of the world will be under great “water stress” by 2100. How far along are we in this hydrological destruction? Consider what is happening today to earth’s very limited, precious fresh water according to scientific studies and Scripture.

Revelation says that a third of earth’s waters will decimate human populations.


UN Water says 2 billion live in high water stress and millions die from water diseases. Revelation says a third of earth’s waters will bring death to humans across nations.

The Third Trumpet

Rev 8:10-11     The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

The Third Bowl

Rev 16:4-6       The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (Many of these Christians–saints and prophets–were martyred during the great tribulation spoken of in Matthew 24 and Revelation 7:9, 14; 20:4).

Note: In Part A, the angel(s) is real, but the “great star fell from heaven” is metaphorical for great power executing judgment (fire) coming down from heaven. The pouring out of a “bowl” is metaphorical for a curse (something that tears down). These meanings are determined from word studies showing OT Hebraic usage. Part B in both passages is mostly literal, except the “Wormwood” and “blood” are figurative as explained below.

In both the third trumpet and bowl, “the rivers and the springs of waters” is a way of saying all the fresh water above and below ground. These are the life-sustaining terrestrial waters necessary for all plant and animal life. “Touch” these and “many men died from the waters.” By the third bowl, the terrestrial waters will become “blood” indicating widespread death; a plague far worse than turning the Nile into blood.[1] A third of the earth’s terrestrial waters (rivers, springs, lakes, aquifers, water tables, etc.) will be harmed in some way causing massive death from loss of fresh water–this is literal. It will happen.

Earth’s Fresh Water

            First, consider the big picture of our life-sustaining liquid “gold”: 70% of the earth is covered with water. Of that, only 2.5% (often rounded to 3%) is fresh water. Of that 2.5%, only 1% is easily accessible with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. When these glaciers melt from global warming (as they are doing today) and run back into the oceans, that too will be gone. Of the fresh water, 68% is found in icecaps and glaciers, while 30% is in ground water (“springs” as Revelation calls them or water tables and aquifers as scientists call them). About .3% is surface water such as lakes, rivers, and swamps. Much of this water is useable but unattainable. Out of 171 countries in the world today, 6 possess 50% of earth’s freshwater. They are (in order): Brazil, Russia, U.S., Canada, China, and Colombia. Of the 20 countries lowest in fresh water, most are in the Mideast including Israel and Saudi Arabia (both of which have massive desalinization plants to make their own fresh water from ocean water). Understanding how precious and limited this liquid “gold” is to 7 billion people on earth, now consider what Jesus reveals we will do with this water and scientists say we are doing with this water today.

            According to UN Water, 2 billion people live in countries with high water stress. By 2040, one in four children will live in areas of extremely high water stress. Due to climate change, by 2030, 700 million will be displaced by water scarcity. Today, 4 billion people (2/3 of the world’s population) suffer severe water scarcity at least one month a year. One third of the world’s largest ground water areas are already in distress. WWF adds that contaminated water exposing people to water-borne diseases afflicts 2.4 billion. Every year, 2 million people, most of whom are children, die from water-borne diseases causing diarrhea.

           Understanding how precious and limited this liquid “gold” is to 7 billion people on earth, now consider what Jesus reveals we will do with this water and scientists say we are doing with this water today.           

Metaphorical Language in Revelation 

           The term, “wormwood,” is symbolic in Revelation 8:11.[2] Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is an herbaceous plant of exceedingly bitter taste. In the past, it was used in absinthe (a green aromatic liquor that is 68% alcohol made with wormwood and other herbs having a bitter, licorice flavor) and as a vermifuge (serving as a medicine to expel worms from the intestines). The name wormwood took on a metaphorical meaning of feelings and/or experiences that were extremely grievous, emotionally painful, agonizing, torturous, crushing, ruinous, calamitous, venomous, and malevolent.[3] Whatever happens to earth’s terrestrial waters will be an excruciatingly painful, bitter experience to humankind with great loss of life.

Death by Water

            “Many men died from the waters.” In consideration of the hydrological cause of death affecting humanity globally, this statement is general rather than specific (such as many harmful causes rather than just one cause). In Revelation 8:11, the waters lead to death. They may be polluted by chemicals or salt; dried out from drought or drained from overuse; evaporated by global warming and shifting weather patterns; eliminated through loss of glaciers or snow pack; poisoned by volcanic ash with acid (all acids have a “bitter” taste) from excessive carbon dioxide (CO2)and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions; or diverted by armies, geological events, dams, or meteorological extremes. Loss of water always threatens life in the food chain from crops, to herds, to peoples. In the end, populations move or die. When not allowed to migrate to other lands, populations starve or fight. One thing for sure, one third of earth’s terrestrial waters will be gone or undrinkable leading to massive death. The end will be bitter.

This trumpet is sounding today and preparing for blood tomorrow

            In the Saint Lawrence River, white whales (belugas) wash up on beaches so loaded with cancer tumors that their corpses are designated as toxic waste. Into these waters, cities have long poured the chemicals and contaminants found in mammalian bodies.[4] This water is unusable for human consumption.

            PG&E dumped PCBs for  decades into the streams and rivers in the Bay Area in California, the Housatonic River in Massachusetts, and the Hudson River in New York, to name a few.[5] The U.S. produced 1.5 billion tons of this chemical which was used widely in industry across the country and often disposed of in rivers.[6] The chemical not only causes cancer and other serious health conditions in humans, it destroys fish, such as the striped bass that used to be a $40-million annual commercial fishery in the Hudson. Even after “cleanup,” these waters are ruined for coming generations for human recreation, fishing, drinking, or agriculture.[7] PCB also stays in the human body for many years. Recently, CNN news anchor, Anderson Cooper, who once lived near the Hudson River and ate its fish, had blood tests showing that PCB was still in his system.[8]

            In the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay, over half of the Atlantic striped bass suffer from blistering red lesions on both their skin and in their internal organs from virulent bacterial infections related to tuberculosis. This plague is a result of the anoxia (lack of oxygen) of the waters associated with pollution causing dead zones, which push the fish into warmer waters. Eventually, they succumb to stress and bacterial infections.[9]

            Hexavalent chromium (Cr-6) is a strong carcinogen used by some large industries such as PG&E, which polluted the drinking waters in Hinkley, California causing abnormally high numbers of cancer in their population. Erin Brockovich was instrumental in bringing the case to court that was settled in 1996 for $333 million. She went to Midland, Texas in 2009 where people were worried about lime green drinking water, which when tested, showed high levels of Cr-6. However, then VP Dick Cheney pushed through “The Halliburton Loophole” so that all gas and oil-fracking companies were exempt from the safe drinking water act. Brockovich has become the “last resort” for people in many towns and cities. She states, “Every single state has emailed me with some sort of [water] problem; 25,000 inquirers within a month. I’ve actually started to create a map and what is scaring me . . . (is that) there are just so many accounts of contamination.” [10] Over a billion fish died on the Noose River. In another place, the tap water not only smells like diesel fuel, but when in contact with a match, will catch on fire. In another neighborhood, six neighbors in a ten-house span have brain tumors and half are already dead. Brockovich concluded, “It’s happening everywhere.”

            Lake Mead, which supplies the water for Los Vegas, was tested chemically; it contained birth control drugs, steroids, narcotics, and other drugs. “Whether it’s birth control pills, erectile dysfunction medicines, hormone supplements, . . . our bodies absorb some of them, we excrete the rest of the chemicals. We flush them away. They go to the treatment plant, and they are not removed.”[11] Even water treatment plants only remove a few of the chemicals people pour down their sinks and toilets.

            EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated, “A 2005 study found 287 different chemicals in the cord blood of ten newborn babies. Our kids are getting a steady infusion of industrial chemicals before we even give them solid food.”[12] Since 1976, the EPA has issued regulations controlling only five chemicals that are determined to present an unreasonable risk; that is five out of almost 80,000 existing chemicals.[13]

            Hydrologist expert Peter Gleik states that “every region in the world is facing water problems . . . half the world’s hospital beds are occupied with patients with water-borne diseases . . . by 2025 half the world’s population will not have adequate access to water.”[14]        Australia has suffered over a decade of drought triggering a farmer suicide every four days according to Ivan Lister, a rural outreach social worker.

            “More than half of all the rivers in China are severely polluted.”[15] Three hundred million Chinese (which is about the population of the U.S.A.) do not have clean drinking water. Polluted water causes 60,000 unnecessary deaths each year and is linked to rising cancer rates, which China’s Minister of Health says is the number one cause of death in his country. A state-run iron ore mine dumps so many toxic pollutants such as lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals into the nearby river that continually runs red, that the downstream town of Lianggiao has become one of many “cancer villages,” so called because its population has 50 times more cancer than the already-high average rate in China. In that village, Hu Shi Ping recently died from colon cancer at the age of thirty leaving behind his wife and small daughter. A textile plant moved into the town of Wuli. Feng Xiaofeng lost her husband and young son to cancer. Wuli is another “cancer village.” Chinese journalist, Deng Fei, gathered statistics of unnaturally high rates of cancer from water pollution across China in rural areas dominated by industry and concluded, “China is suffering from the negative impact of improper economic growth patterns. And the country will continue to pay the price for heavy pollutants in the future.”[16]

            As we consider major rivers, remember that most rivers enter an ocean, and ocean currents circulate around the world. From our oceans come the fish we eat—either imported or local—which swim and ingest chemicals that not only remain, but accumulate, in their flesh. This is why pregnant women are regularly told not to eat more than one helping of tuna fish each week—mercury accumulation.

            Do other major rivers across countries manifest biblical prophecy, that is, are deadly rivers? Here are a few of the many rivers around the world with poisonous waters: In Buenos Aires, Argentina the Matanza-Riachuelo River, with 3.5 million people in its basin, has been nicknamed the Slaughterhouse River because many slaughterhouses and tanneries dump all of their wastes and toxins (such as arsenic, chromium, mercury, lead etc.) into the river along with the raw sewage and household garbage of the people lining the river. The surface of the river is bloated with garbage. Dhaka, Bangladesh, a city of ten million people, uses the Buriganga River as the catch-all for chemical waste from factories, domestic garbage, medical waste, sewage, dead animals, plastics and petroleum with 4,500 tons of solid waste dumped into it every day. Floating garbage hides the river. In the Philippines, the Marilao River transports pollution from factories, piggeries, gold refineries, and municipal dumps with heavy metals so high that serious health issues result as it daily dumps its load into Manila Bay. Garbage blankets this river; it is listed as one of 50 dead rivers in the Philippines. Many of Europe’s rivers are polluted, but the Sarno River in southern Italy is one of the worst with industrial and agricultural wastes and urban garbage covering the water with oily scum and chemical foam. Indonesia‘s Citarum River is the drinking water for millions of people, but thousands of factories dump their chemicals, heavy metals, and waste into it smothering the surface with garbage and threatening the health of everyone near it. The beloved Jordan River watering Israel, Syria, and Jordan has suffered from massive amounts of untreated sewage and agricultural runoff. The Yellow River in China receives four billion tons of sewage a year and, due to its high toxicity levels, has been declared unfit for even agricultural use. Industrial chemical spills are so severe that the river is a bright red in some areas. India‘s Yamuna River hosts clouds of chemical suds as far as the eye can see. New Delhi excretes over 500 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Yamuna each day. The third largest river in the world, the Ganges in India, is revered by 400 million people who live near it and use it for drinking, bathing, cooking, sewage, and disposing of human corpses. Over ten million people a year take a bath in the river hoping to “wash away their sins.” Water-borne diseases are high.[17] According to UNICEF, approximately 1,800 children a day suffer unnecessary deaths linked to polluted water.[18]

            I was shocked by black-sludge rivers that enveloped cities in the heavy stench of raw sewage when I traveled across Asia and lived in Africa; especially in the countries of Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Senegal. In every case, large urban populations bordered these pitch-black rivers so packed with excrement and garbage that they flowed like warm molasses emitting unbelievable stench. “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty.”[19]


            Once the streams and rivers of the Columbia River Basin of the Pacific Northwest teamed with salmon. There were major salmon runs twelve months out of the year in never ending abundance, estimated at over a 100 million fish a year. But, due to man’s overfishing with canneries shipping the fish to markets all over the world, and overbuilding with 400 dams, including the Grand Coulee blocking off one third of the spawning area in the Columbia Basin, an average of only eighteen (18) Sockeye salmon a year returned to Idaho between 1985 and 2007. The June Hog salmon run completely stopped. All other species of salmon declined to almost nothing. Jerry Myers, a local, has lived on the Columbia River for over nine years and says that he “has yet to see a salmon.”[20]

            The blue walleye went extinct in the Great Lakes in the 1980s due to overfishing.[21] Experts warn that “overfishing is emptying world’s rivers, lakes.”[22] This neglected crisis is worse than overfishing in the oceans. A scientific report says that people fish their way through the big fish until they are gone, then  catch smaller and smaller fish by diminishing the holes in their nets accordingly. “Tens of millions of people in developing countries fish inland waters for food and to earn a living.”[23] The harvest has quadrupled since 1950 and is currently 8.5 million tons annually. In China alone, there are 12 million fishermen. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists freshwater fish as the most threatened of all vertebrates due to overfishing, environmental pollution, habitat modification (like dams) or destructive, invasive species (which kill off local species), deforestation (erosion, sedimentation, water chemistry), and global warming.[24] “Higher temperatures reduce oxygen levels, making the water uninhabitable for many fish. . . . Many geographically-isolated freshwater fishes are already living near their thermal tolerance limits and now face potential extinction as waters warm through climate change.”[25]

Glacial Melt and Water Shortages

            “Only 3%of all the water on earth is usable for humans and 80% of that is glacial melt.” An estimated 1.5 to 2 billion people depend on glacial water for drinking and daily necessities.[26] When those glaciers are gone, there will be severe water shortages for millions around the world.

           Of the 42,298 glaciers atop the Himalayan mountains, 40% will disappear by 2050 and the rest by 2100.[27] In Asia, over 500 million people obtain some of their drinking and irrigation water from Himalayan glaciers.[28] In Montana’s Glacier National Park (GNP), glaciers have shrunk by 67% in the last hundred years, and the IPCC estimated they would be gone by 2030.[29] Out of Montana’s Glacier National Park’s 150 glaciers observed in 1850, only 26 glaciers remain today. They will be gone by 2050. [30] In South America, scientists calculate that most Andean glaciers will be gone by 2030.

            Canada’s Yukon Territory totaling 186,661 square miles (larger than California) possessed 1,400 glaciers in 1958. To date, four got bigger, 300 disappeared completely, and all the rest got smaller according to Dr. Martin Sharp, a glaciologist at the University of Alberta.[31]

            Many of the glaciated cordilleras in the northern Andes are mere remnants of what existed 50 years ago. . . . The Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru, the largest body of ice in the tropics, . . .  has lost approximately 30% of its total area in the last 35 years; the Cordillera Blanca, a glaciated range in Peru, . . . has lost over 20% of its area in the same period; glaciers in Colombia . . . have lost between 20-50% or more of their area in the last few decades; Tres Cruces, a glaciated area in Bolivia, . . . has lost over half of its area; and one glacier in Venezuela . . . has lost over 90% of its area. These changes are representative of overall glacier retreat throughout the tropical Andes.[32]

            According to a Yale publication, Peyto Glacier in Canada’s Banff National Park has receded three miles losing about 70% if its mass since 1896 and losing 3.5 million cubic meters of water each year, approximately the amount of water the city of Calgary with a population of 1.2 million consumes each day.[33] Peyto is a typical example of what is happening to the glaciers and snowpack in the Rocky Mountains that supply most of the stream flow west of the Mississippi River in the U.S., as well as much of the water for the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The USGS recorded that “steadily rising temperatures are not only rapidly melting glaciers, but also have caused a 20 percent decline in spring snow cover throughout the Rockies since 1980.”

           Runoff from snowpack provides 60% to 80% of the annual water supply for 70 million people in the American West (USGS). “Warming is a massive threat to Rockies’ water because it reduces the ability of snowpack and glaciers to store precipitation until the summer, when ecosystems and humans want to use it,” says John Pomeroy, the director of the Center for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan.[34] Scientists point out that British Columbia’s 17,000 glaciers are losing 22 billion cubic meters (about 6 trillion gallons) of water annually.

            The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) reports that 90% of the world’s glaciers are significantly retreating.[35] While in the short run, glacier runoff increases stream flows and even flooding in the early spring, the loss of glaciers will–by the end of this century and into the next–leave hundreds of millions of people with severe water shortages, especially for irrigating summer crops. Sound familiar? “And many men died from the waters.”[36]

            Today, close to one billion people are already struggling with extreme water shortage. “Water use is growing at double the rate of population growth.”[37] “By roughly 2025, the number of people living in water-stressed countries will increase from 800 million to 3 billion.”[38] Lake Chad has shrunk by 90% since 1973. “A massive 2009 study looked at stream flows on 925 of the world’s largest rivers from 1948 to 2004 and found that twice as many were falling as rising. ‘During the life span of the study, fresh water discharge into the Pacific Ocean fell by about six percent–or roughly the annual volume of the Mississippi.'”[39]

            Currently, thirty-six countries face “extremely high stress” for water meaning that more than 80% of the water available to agricultural, domestic, and industrial users is withdrawn annually. Those countries facing “high stress” withdraw 40% to 80% their water annually.[40] These countries include western South America, Mexico, South Africa, countries in Western Sahara, Spain, Italy, all of the Mideast, central Asia, India, Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. By 2100, one third of earth’s population will live under water stress; Scripture says, “a third of the rivers and . . . the springs of waters” will cause “many men (to die).”[41]

The Euphrates River

            Since Revelation speaks specifically of the Euphrates River drying up, what is its current status?[42] Research carried out by NASA and the University of California, Irvine on the Middle Eastern river system shows a substantial decrease in the volume of groundwater reserves in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins. “Scientists . . . found during a seven-year period beginning in 2003 that parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet of total stored freshwater.” [43] NASA’s James Famiglietti stated that about 60% of the loss was due to “pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.” The decline rate intensified after a drought in 2007, but the demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management.”[44]

            Another scientific report points out that 90% of the water flow in the Euphrates originates in Turkey. The government has reduced the river’s flow into Iraq and Syria by extensive dam construction in the 1970s resulting in a flow decline of approximately 80%. “Tensions between these countries remain high because of the issue of water management. . . . Turkish initiatives aimed at massively expanding their exploitation of the water from the two rivers have coincided with severe droughts in the region and resulted in a burgeoning water-shortage crisis in Iraq. This problem threatens an environmental catastrophe.” Turkey plans to irrigate ten percent of its land from these dams. Syria has also built dams on the Euphrates (completed in the 1990s) which further reduced its flow into Iraq. To make things worse, since the 1960s, the population of Turkey has doubled and the populations of Iraq and Syria have quadrupled.

            Iraq has experienced other serious water problems besides the decreased flow of the Euphrates/Tigris Rivers and droughts. Due to sea rise, salt water from the Persian Gulf has encroached nearly 100 miles inland causing farmers to abandon crops, livestock, and profitable groves of date palms. Over 30,000 people have migrated northward. A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report stated that 100,000 Iraqis have fled their communities since 2005 due to water shortages. The report also concluded that water levels in the Euphrates and the Tigris have fallen by more than two-thirds in that area and “warned that these vital lifelines could dry up completely by 2040.” The decline of water has also led to decreased agricultural yields. Former Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel summed up Turkey’s position in 1992: “We do not say we share their [Iraq’s] oil resources. They cannot say they share our water resources. This is a right of sovereignty. We have the right to do anything we like.”[45] “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”[46]

            “All around the United States the water table in the aquifers is going down and it took in many places thousands of years for this water to accumulate in the aquifers and yet we’re going through it in mere decades.”[47] The High Plains Aquifer, also called the Ogallala Aquifer, covering roughly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cattle and cotton in South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas, will peak by 2040 due to water depletion. Researchers discovered that 30% of the Kansas portion of the Ogallala Aquifer has already been pumped out, and another 39% will be used in the next fifty years at the current rates, thus agricultural production is likely to peak around 2040 and decline after that.[48] It is being depleted faster than it can be refilled. The Central Valley of California used to provide 25% of U.S. agricultural food. Since 1998, its underground aquifer has lost 1.5 times the amount of Lake Mead. “In 60 to 100 years, the aquifer will be empty. . . . The combination of climate change, growth, and ground water depletion spells a train wreck (for California).”[49]

            NASA satellites have determined that the water table for India‘s breadbasket in the north producing wheat, rice, and barley “has been disappearing” due to human consumption for crops, industry, and personal use. “If measures are not taken to ensure sustainable groundwater usage, consequences for the 114 million residents of the region may include a collapse of agricultural output and severe shortages of potable water,” said Rodell, who is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.[50] Five years later, NASA reports a worsen situation; global groundwater crisis threatening food and security.[51]

            A new Nature Climate Change piece, “The Global Groundwater Crisis,” by James Famiglietti, a leading hydrologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warns that “most of the major aquifers in the world’s arid and semi-arid zones, that is, in the dry parts of the world that rely most heavily on groundwater, are experiencing rapid rates of groundwater depletion.” The groundwater at some of the world’s largest aquifers–in the U.S. High Plains, California’s Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere–is being pumped out “at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished.” The most worrisome fact: “nearly all of these underlie the word’s [sic] great agricultural regions and are primarily responsible for their high productivity.” And this is doubly concerning in our age of unrestricted carbon pollution, because it is precisely these semiarid regions that are projected to see drops in precipitation and/or soil moisture, which will sharply boost the chances of civilization surviving in these areas–threatening megadroughts and Dust-Bowlification. The natural human response to drought is to pump more groundwater; continued groundwater depletion will very likely accelerate mid-latitude drying, a problem that will be exacerbated by significant population growth in the same regions.[52]

            Famiglietti points out worse consequences: “Further declines in groundwater availability may well trigger more civil uprising and international violent conflict in the already water-stressed regions of the world, and new conflict in others. From North Africa to the Middle East to South Asia, regions where it is already common to drill over 2 km [1.24 mi.] to reach groundwater, it is highly probable that disappearing groundwater could act as a flashpoint for conflict.”[53]  “The third angel sounded, . . . on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters     . . . and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.” [54] This is happening today.

            Tomorrow the waters will be blood.

            In 2019, U.S. Intelligence officials warned that climate change is becoming a worldwide threat.[55] U.S. National Intelligence Director Dan Coast and the directors of the FBI, CIA, and Defense Intelligence Agency testified before a Senate committee presenting the Worldwide Threat Assessment prepared by the Director of National Intelligence emphasizing that ways that climate change fuels widespread insecurity and erodes America’s ability to respond to it. “Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security,” stated the report, which represented the consensus among top intelligence officials. “Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution.”[56] In November, the U.S. government administration issued the Fourth National Climate Assessment, based on the work of 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, presented the conclusion that climate change threatened human life, ecosystems, and the American economy.[57]

            As the waters turn to wormwood, the crops wither, the herds languish, and the heat rises,  can we hear the distant pounding hooves of Revelation’s four horseman (migrations, conquests, wars, famines, diseases, and massive death)? Can we hear the four trumpets sounding harm to land, oceans, waters, and skies? It is all tied together in a vicious cycle.

            I use many scientific facts such as given above for timing the second coming: 1/3 of waters will be gone for human consumption by 2100, the Euphrates will dry up before 2050, all of the fish stocks in oceans will be on the path to extinction by 2048, etc. Pull together the scientific facts manifesting Revelation’s prophecies on land, oceans, waters, and skies (added to all other prophecies on His coming) to estimate the generation that will see Christ’s return (Matt 24:33-34). So far, I agree with NASA’s James Hansen when he wrote, “The Storms of My Grandchildren and the Truth of the Coming Climate Catastrophe . . . . Within three generations, if not sooner, global collapse will usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ.

                [1] “Blood” is symbolic for death. Exod 7:17-18, God said, “I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. The fish that are in the Nile will die, and the Nile will become foul, and the Egyptians will find difficulty in drinking water from the Nile.”

                [2] Rev 8:10-11, Jer 23:15, “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the [evil] prophets, ‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood and make them drink poisonous water. For from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land.'” Amos 6:12, “You have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood.

               [3] Rev 8:11. See also, Deut 20:18, “So that there will not be among you a man or woman . . . whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.” Prov 5:4, “In the end (the adulteress) is bitter as wormwood    . . . . Her feet go down to death.” Jer 9:15, “Thus says the Lord . . . , “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. I will scatter them among the nations.” Lam 3:15, “(God) has filled me with bitterness. He has made me drunk with wormwood. He has broken my teeth with gravel. He has made me cower in the dust. My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness.”

                [4] Biologist Robert Michaud with the Group for Research and Education for Marine Mammals, has studied these whales for more than twenty years. Testing thousands of blood samples with numerous chemicals found in the river and in their bodies, Sylvain DeGuise at the University of Connecticut has discovered that chemical cocktails decrease the reproduction of cells in the immune system, increasing their risks to cancer. National Geographic, Strange Days on Planet Earth, vol 2, “Troubled Waters,” episode 4. Night, Inc. 2008.

                [5] PCB (polychlorinated byphenyl) is a toxic chemical banned by the federal government in 1977 for causing cancer and other serious health conditions. PG&E used the chemical for nearly forty years. As of August 21, 2013, the Public Utilities Commission in California was moving against PG&E for seven new sites for hazardous substance mechanisms. By February 25, 2014, that became eight new sites.

                [6] “Cleanup and Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).”

                [7] Ibid.

                [8]  “Planet in Peril: A CNN Worldwide Investigation.”

                [9] Biologist Wolfgang Vogelbein and microbiologist Martha Rhodes of Virginia Institute of Marine Science discovered that as chemical nutrients from the cities and farms pour into the river, huge phytoplankton blooms increase, then die, drop to the bottom and decompose using up all the oxygen in the water in the process. The result is a dead zone due to deoxygenation of the water so that plants and fish cannot live. The bass are forced to warmer waters where they become infected. National Geographic, Strange Days on Planet Earth, vol 3, “Dirty Secrets,” episode 6. Night, Inc. 2008.

                [10] Jessica Yu, “Last Call at the Oasis,” 2011, a documentary by  based on the book by Alex Prud’Homme, The Ripple Effect. Quotes from Erin Brockovich.

                [11] Ibid. Quote from Robert Glennon, author of Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It, Island Press, 2009. Glennon is a professor of law and public policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.

                [12] Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, 2009.

                [13] Yu. Those five chemicals are hexavalent chromium (cancer), asbestos (cancer), dioxin, chlorofluorocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyl.

                [14] Yu. Quotes by Peter Gleik.

                [15] “Planet in Peril: A CNN Worldwide Investigation.”  This section covers river pollution in China.

                [16] Ibid. c.f. David McKenzie, “In China, ‘cancer villages’ a reality of life.”

                [17] Kosmo Kelley, March 12, 2014.

                [18] Press release: “Children dying daily because of unsafe water supplies . . . .” March 22, 2013.

                [19] Isa 24:5-6.

                [20] Nature: “Salmon: Running the Gauntlet,” DVD. Aired by PBS May 1, 2011.

                [21] “Peruvian Anchovy Case; Anchovy Depletion and Trade” Trade and Environment Database. 1999.  R. Kunzig, “Twilight of the Cod,” Discover, April 1995. Rob Bell, Nov 20, 2013.

                [22] James Owen, “Overfishing is Emptying World’s Rivers, Lakes, Experts Warn,” National Geographic New, Dec 1, 2005.­_051201­_overfishing.html.

                [23] Ibid. Kirk Winemiller, a fish researcher at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in College Station.

                [24] Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, IUCN, “Major Threats.” Invasive species: Before 1970s Lake Victoria contained hundreds of species (350 – 500+), but after the introduction of the Nile Perch and Nile Tilapia, “half the species are either extinct or only occur in very small populations.” IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. “Invasive Species.” https://www.iucnredlist.or/initiatives/freshwater/panafrica/threats/

                [25] Ibid.

                [26] “How many people depend on Glacier water?” c.f. “Water Shortages,” the Institute for Population Studies, Berkeley, CA.

                [27] Mark Hertsgaard, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, Hartcourt, 2012) 57. NASA’s Jim Hansen warns of the loss of most Himalayan glaciers this century. Another NASA scientist, Yao Tandong estimates 40% will be gone by 2050.

                [28] Ibid.

                [29] Ann Minard, “No More Glaciers in Glacier National Park by 2020?” National Geographic News, March 2, 2009. IPCC is the UN’s International Panel (of scientists) on Climate Change.

                [30]  Dan Fagre, “Retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park,” United States Geological Survey (USGS). Site last modified: May 2013.

                [31] James Balog, “Chasing Ice,” a documentary on glaciers across continents. Balog was NASA’s delegate to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009.

                [32] Todd Albert, et al., Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, ch 26, “Remote sensing of rapidly diminishing tropical glaciers in the northern Andes” (Springer Praxis Books, 2014) 609.­_26#/ “Cordillera” means a chain of mountains or the mountain ranges in a system. 

                [33] Ed Struzik, “Loss of Snowpack and Glaciers in Rockies Poses Water Threat,” July 10, 2014, in Yale Environment 360, a publication of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.

                [34] Ibid.

                [35] Skeptical Science, “Are Glaciers Growing or Retreating?” Conor Friederscorf, “Can This Photograph of a Himalayan Glacier Persuade People That Climate Change Is Happening?” June 28, 2012.

                [36] Rev 8:10-11.

                [37] Stephen Emmott, Ten Billion (New York: Vintage, 2013) 78-82.

                [38] Hertsgaard, 27.

                [39] Suzanne Goldenberg, “Climate Change Threatens Ganges, Niger and Other Mighty Rivers,” Guardian,  April 22, 2009. c.f. Bill McKibben, eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011) 6.

                [40] World Resources Institute. Paul Reig, Andrew Maddocks, Francis Gassert, “World’s 36 Most Water-Stressed Countries,” Dec 12, 2013.  c.f. Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Water stressed countries statistics.

                [41] Rev 8:10-11.

                [42] Rev 16:12,  “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.”  

                [43] An acre-foot is a unit of volume used in the U.S. for large-scale water resources, such as reservoirs, aqueducts, canals, sewer flow capacity, irrigation and river flows. It is the volume of one acre of surface area to a depth of one foot. One acre-foot is approximately 893 gallons per day. A typical Southwest family uses 0.25 acre feet of water per year. The Colorado River Compact divides 15 million acre-feet among seven western states.

                [44] “Tigris and Euphrates basins drying up, study show.”

                [45] Gary Kleyn, “Water-Shortage Crisis Escalating in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin” (West Perth, Australia: Future Directions International, August 28, 2012). The International Institute for Sustainable Development expects that the Euphrates River will drop by 30%.  By the end of the century the ancient “Fertile Crescent” will disappear. Bill McKibben, eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011) 82.

                [46] Jdgs 21:25.

                [47] Ibid. Glennon.

                [48] Brad Plumer, The Washington Post, “How long before the Great Plains runs out of water?” September 12, 2013. “Peak” refers to the top of a bell curve. After something hits its peak, it is downhill from there on. Peak water is not about running out of water, but about reaching the physical, economic, and environmental limits on meeting human demands resulting in the subsequent decrease of water availability.

                [49] Yu. Quote by Jay Famiglietti at UC Center for Hydrologic Modelling.

                [50] Gretchen Cook-Anderson, NASA Earth Science News Team, “NASA Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India’s Vanishing Water.” August 12, 2009.

                [51] Joe Romm, “NASA Bomshell: Global Groundwater Crisis Threatens Our Food Supplies and Our Security.” October 31, 2014. 10/31/3586561/global-groundwater-crisis/

                [52] Ibid.

                [53] Ibid. c.f. Dr. Famiglietti, “Warming-Fueled Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War.” Two kilometers (km) equals 1.2 miles.

                [54] Rev 8:10-11. “Bitterness” can be literal. Acid has a bitter taste. Acid rain, ocean and lake acidification are bitter to many plants and animals. And/or it can be figurative. A bitter experience is very painful.

                [55] Neela Banerjee, “U.S. Intelligence Officials Warn Climate Change Is a Worldwide Threat,” Jan 30, 2019. Retrieved from;worldwide-threat-assessment-climate-change-intelligence-agencies-national-security/

                [56] Ibid.

                [57] Ibid.

                [58] “Garbage on Body of Water” by Yogendra Sing in India on Pexels: Pollution. “Polluted Rivers Run Out to Carolina Coast” by NASA; nasa free images. “Drought Dry California Barren” by Rick DuBose from Pixabay. “Contaminated Rio Doces Water Flows to the Atlantic” by Gunnar Ries on NASA;