A review of recent developments in climate change science. Part II: The global-scale impacts of climate change

  • Gosling Warren, R., Arnell, N. W., Good, P., Caesar, J., Bernie, D., Lowe, J. A., van, der Linden, P. O'Hanley, J. R. & Smith, S. M. S
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Abstract

This article presents a review of recent developments in studies assessing the global-scale impacts of climate change published since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Literature covering six main impact sectors is reviewed: sea-level rise (SLR) and coastal impacts, ocean acidification, ecosystems and biodiversity, water resources and desertification, agriculture and food security, and human health. The review focuses on studies with a global perspective to climate change impacts assessment, although in the absence of global studies for some sectors or aspects of impacts, national and regional studies are cited. The review highlights three major emerging themes which are of importance for the policy- and decision-making process: (1) a movement towards probabilistic methods of impacts assessment and/or the consideration of climate modelling uncertainty; (2) a move towards assessing potential impacts that could be avoided under different climate change mitigation scenarios relative to a business-as-usual reference scenario; and (3) uncertainties that remain in understanding the relationship between climate and natural or human systems. Whether recent impact assessments show a changed risk of damage to human or natural systems since the AR4 depends upon the impact sector; whether the assessments are robust or not (i.e. will stand the test of time) requires additional expert judgement. However, using this judgement, overall we find an increased risk to natural systems, and in some components of human systems. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Progress in Physical Geography is the property of Sage Publications, Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • BIODIVERSITY -- Climatic factors
  • BIOTIC communities
  • CLIMATIC changes
  • EFFECT of human beings on
  • FOOD security
  • INTERGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • OCEAN acidification
  • SEA level
  • WATER supply
  • agriculture
  • climate change impacts
  • ecosystems
  • health
  • sea-level rise
  • water resources

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Authors

  • S N Gosling Warren, R., Arnell, N. W., Good, P., Caesar, J., Bernie, D., Lowe, J. A., van, der Linden, P. O'Hanley, J. R. & Smith, S. M.

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