Understanding the regional impacts of climate change: Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

TitleUnderstanding the regional impacts of climate change: Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 90
KeywordsRegional impacts of climate change, Research Report, Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change
AuthorsWarren, Rachel, N. W. Arnell, R. J. Nicholls, P. E. Levy, and J. Price
Year of Publication2006

The aim of this project was to bring together a range of work to examine the global impacts of climate change at different degrees of temperature rise (up to 5°C where possible), identifying vulnerable sectors in different parts of the world. The project aims to analyse impacts work in a consistent way, explicitly identifying assumptions between different results, and provides a basis for comparison with how impacts are handled in integrated assessment models. A key output of the project is the set of impacts matrices accompanying this report showing impacts in various sectors and regions. All annual global mean temperature increases mentioned in this report refer to a baseline date of 1990. The DEFRA-funded FastTrack and related work formed the bedrock for impacts matrices which ensures that a consistent up to date methodology and full set of SRES scenarios. For each sector the main factors driving variation and uncertainty in impacts were unpacked as far as the literature and available Fast Track data and models allow. These factors were variously (i) the choice of socio-economic scenario (ii) the adaptation assumptions, (iii) the direct effects of carbon dioxide (CO2), and (iv) the variability between different global circulation models (GCMs). The project assessed climate impacts upon water stress, agriculture, coastal flooding,human health, energy demand, and ecosystems (including biodiversity and global vegetation) out to 2100 in most cases. The regional assessment is based upon 13 world regions. A key consideration is that, with the exception of coastal flooding due to storm surge the study cannot resolve the impacts of changing frequencies or intensities of short-term extreme weather events, so that the impact estimates given here may be considered an underestimation, since damages due to extreme weather events are already noticeably high.

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