The implications of climate policy for the impacts of climate change on global water resources

  • Arnell N
  • van Vuuren D
  • Issac M
  • 2

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Abstract

This paperassessestheimplicationsofclimatepolicyforexposuretowaterresourcesstresses.It comparesaReferencescenariowhichleadstoanincreaseinglobalmeantemperatureof4 8C bytheend of the21stcenturywithaMitigationscenariowhichstabilisesgreenhousegasconcentrationsataround 450 ppmCO2e andleadstoa2 8C increasein2100.Associatedchangesinriverrunoffaresimulatedusing a globalhydrologicalmodel,forfourspatialpatternsofchangeintemperatureandrainfall.Thereisa considerabledifferenceinhydrologicalchangebetweenthesefourpatterns,butthepercentagesof changeavoidedattheglobalscalearerelativelyrobust.Bythe2050s,theMitigationscenariotypically avoids between16and30%ofthechangeinrunoffundertheReferencescenario,andby2100itavoids between 43and65%.Twodifferentmeasuresofexposuretowaterresourcesstressarecalculated,based on resourcespercapitaandtheratioofwithdrawalstoresources.Usingthefirstmeasure,theMitigation scenarioavoids8–17%oftheimpactin2050and20–31%in2100;withthesecondmeasure,theavoided impactsare5–21%and15–47%respectively.However,atthesametime,theMitigationscenarioalso reduces thepositiveimpactsofclimatechangeonwaterscarcityinotherareas.Theabsolutenumbers and locationsofpeopleaffectedbyclimatechangeandclimatepolicyvaryconsiderablybetweenthe four climatemodelpatterns.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ADAM
  • Climate impacts
  • Climate policy
  • Mitigation
  • Water resources

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Authors

  • Nigel W Arnell

  • D P van Vuuren

  • M Issac

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