Cross-sectoral impacts of climate change and socio-economic change for multiple, European land- and water-based sectors

TitleCross-sectoral impacts of climate change and socio-economic change for multiple, European land- and water-based sectors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsStuch, B., PA Harrison, R. Dunford, C. Savin, MDA Rounsevell, IP Holman, and A. S. Kebede
Journal TitleClimatic Change
Start Page279
KeywordsCross-sectoral Impacts, socio-economic change

Understanding cross-sectoral impacts is important in developing appropriate adaptation strategies to climate change, since such insight builds the capacity of decision-makers to understand the full extent of climate change vulnerability, rather than viewing single sectors in isolation. A regional integrated assessment model that captures interactions between six sectors (agriculture, forests, biodiversity, water, coasts and urban) was used to investigate impacts resulting from a wide range of climate and socio-economic scenarios. Results show that Europe will be significantly influenced by these possible future changes with between 79 and 91 % of indicator-scenario combinations found to be statistically significantly different from the baseline. Urban development increases in most scenarios across Europe due to increases in population and sometimes GDP. This has an indirect influence on the number of people affected by a 1 in 100 year flood which increases in western and northern Europe. Changes in other land uses (intensive farming, extensive farming, forests and unmanaged land) vary depending on the scenario, but food production generally increases across Europe at the expense of forest area and unmanaged land to satisfy increasing food demand. Biodiversity vulnerability and water exploitation both increase in southern and Eastern Europe due to direct effects from climate and indirect effects from changes in land use and irrigation water use. The results highlight the importance of considering non-climatic pressures and cross-sectoral interactions to fully capture climate change impacts at the regional scale.

Tyndall Consortium Institution


Research Programme

Water and Landuse