C Wheat mid to highlatitude

(d) Wheat, low latitude

1 2 3 4 5 Mean local temperature change (°C)
1 2 3 4 5 Mean local temperature change (°C)

Figure TS.7. Sensitivity of cereal yield to climate change for maize and wheat. Responses include cases without adaptation (orange dots) and with adaptation (green dots). The studies on which this figure is based span a range of precipitation changes and CO2 concentrations, and vary in how they represent future changes in climate variability. For instance, lighter-coloured dots in (b) and (c) represent responses of rain-fed crops under climate scenarios with decreased precipitation. [F5.4]

[5.4.7]. Adaptation measures should be integrated with development strategies and programmes, country programmes and poverty-reduction strategies [5.7].

Smallholder and subsistence farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fisherfolk are likely to suffer complex, localised impacts of climate change (high confidence).

These groups, whose adaptive capacity is constrained, are likely to experience negative effects on yields of tropical crops, combined with a high vulnerability to extreme events. In the longer term, there are likely to be additional negative impacts of other climate-related processes such as snowpack decrease especially in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, sea-level rise, and a spread in the prevalence of human diseases affecting agricultural labour supply (high confidence) [5.4.7].

Globally, forestry production is estimated to change only modestly with climate change in the short and medium term (medium confidence).

The change in global forest product outputs ranges from a modest increase to a slight decrease, although regional and local changes are likely to be large []. Production increase is likely to shift from low-latitude regions in the short term, to high-latitude regions in the long term [5.4.5].

Local extinctions of particular fish species are expected at edges of ranges (high confidence).

It is likely that regional changes in the distribution and productivity of particular fish species will continue and local extinctions will occur at the edges of ranges, particularly in freshwater and diadromous species (e.g., salmon, sturgeon). In some cases, ranges and productivity are likely to increase [5.4.6]. Emerging evidence suggests concern that the Meridional Overturning Circulation is slowing down, with potentially serious consequences for fisheries [5.4.6].

Food and forestry trade is projected to increase in response to climate change, with increased food-import dependence of most developing countries (medium to low confidence).

While the purchasing power for food is likely to be reinforced in the period to 2050 by declining real prices, it would be adversely affected by higher real prices for food from 2050 to 2080 due to climate change [5.6.1, 5.6.2]. Exports of temperate-zone food products to tropical countries are likely to rise [5.6.2], while the reverse is likely in forestry in the short term [5.4.5].

Experimental research on crop response to elevated CO2 confirms TAR reviews (medium to high confidence). New results suggest lower responses for forests (medium confidence).

Recent reanalyses of free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) studies indicate that, at 550 ppm CO2, yields increase under unstressed conditions by 10 to 20% over current concentrations for C3 crops, and by 0 to 10% for C4 crops (medium confidence). Crop model simulations under elevated CO2 are consistent with these ranges (high confidence) [5.4.1]. Recent FACE results suggest no significant response for mature forest stands and confirm enhanced growth for young tree stands [5.4.1]. Ozone exposure limits CO2 response in both crops and forests [B5.2].

Coastal systems and low-lying areas

Since the TAR, our understanding of the implications of climate change for coastal systems and low-lying areas (henceforth referred to as 'coasts') has increased substantially, and six important policy-relevant messages emerge.

Coasts are experiencing the adverse consequences of hazards related to climate and sea level (very high confidence).

Coasts are highly vulnerable to extreme events, such as storms, which impose substantial costs on coastal societies [6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.5.2]. Annually, about 120 million people are exposed to tropical cyclone hazards. These killed 250,000 people from 1980 to 2000 [6.5.2]. Throughout the 20th century, the global rise of sea level contributed to increased coastal inundation, erosion and ecosystem losses, but the precise role of sea-level rise is difficult to determine due to considerable regional and local variation due to other factors [6.2.5, 6.4.1]. Late 20th century effects of rising temperature include loss of sea ice, thawing of permafrost and associated coastal retreat at high latitudes, and more frequent coral bleaching and mortality at low latitudes [6.2.5].

Coasts are very likely to be exposed to increasing risks in future decades due to many compounding climate-change factors (very high confidence).

Anticipated climate-related changes include: an accelerated rise in sea level of 0.2 to 0.6 m or more by 2100; further rise in sea surface temperatures of 1 to 3°C; more intense tropical and extra-tropical cyclones; generally larger extreme wave and storm surges; altered precipitation/runoff; and ocean acidification

[WG1 AR4 Chapter 10; 6.3.2]. These phenomena will vary considerably at regional and local scales, but the impacts are virtually certain to be overwhelmingly negative [6.4, 6.5.3]. Coastal wetland ecosystems, such as salt marshes and mangroves, are very likely threatened where they are sediment-starved or constrained on their landward margin [6.4.1]. The degradation of coastal ecosystems, especially wetlands and coral reefs, has serious implications for the well-being of societies dependent on coastal ecosystems for goods and services [6.4.2, 6.5.3]. Increased flooding and the degradation of freshwater, fisheries and other resources could impact hundreds of millions of people, and socio-economic costs for coasts are virtually certain to escalate as a result of climate change [6.4.2, 6.5.3].

The impact of climate change on coasts is exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures (very high confidence).

Utilisation of the coast increased dramatically during the 20th century and this trend is virtually certain to continue through the 21st century. Under the SRES scenarios, the coastal population could grow from 1.2 billion people (in 1990) to between 1.8 billion and 5.2 billion people by the 2080s, depending on future trends in coastward migration [6.3.1]. Hundreds of millions of people and major assets at risk at the coast are subject to additional stresses by land-use and hydrological changes in catchments, including dams that reduce sediment supply to the coast [6.3]. Three key hotspots of societal vulnerability are: (i) deltas (see Figure TS.8), especially the seven Asian megadeltas with a collective population already exceeding 200 million; (ii) low-lying coastal urban areas, especially those prone to subsidence; and (iii) small islands, especially coral atolls [6.4.3].

Adaptation for the coasts of developing countries is virtually certain to be more challenging than for coasts of developed countries (high confidence).

Developing countries already experience the most severe impacts from present coastal hazards [6.5.2]. This is virtually certain to continue under climate change, even allowing for optimum adaptation, with Asia and Africa most exposed [6.4.2, B6.6, F6.4, 6.5.3]. Developing countries have a more limited adaptive capacity due to their development status, with the most vulnerable areas being concentrated in exposed or sensitive settings such as small islands or deltas [6.4.3]. Adaptation in developing countries will be most challenging in these vulnerable 'hotspots' [6.4.3].

Adaptation costs for vulnerable coasts are much less than the costs of inaction (high confidence).

Adaptation costs for climate change are virtually certain to be much lower than damage costs without adaptation for most developed coasts, even considering only property losses and human deaths [6.6.2, 6.6.3]. As post-event impacts on coastal businesses, people, housing, public and private social institutions, natural resources and the environment generally go unrecognised in disaster cost accounting, it is virtually certain that the full benefits of adaptation are even larger [6.5.2, 6.6.2]. Without action, the highest sea-level scenarios combined with other climate change (e.g., increased storm intensity) are about as likely as not to make some low-lying islands and other low-lying areas


«Zhujlang hao Phraya

Extreme High

Figure TS.8. Relative vulnerability of coastal deltas as indicated by estimates of the population potentially displaced by current sea-level trends to 2050 (extreme >1 million; high 1 million to 50,000; medium 50,000 to 5,000) [B6.3]. Climate change would exacerbate these impacts.

Mahanadi a Godavari # Krishna

Ganges Brahmaputra


«Zhujlang hao Phraya

Extreme High

Figure TS.8. Relative vulnerability of coastal deltas as indicated by estimates of the population potentially displaced by current sea-level trends to 2050 (extreme >1 million; high 1 million to 50,000; medium 50,000 to 5,000) [B6.3]. Climate change would exacerbate these impacts.

(e.g., in deltas and megadeltas) uninhabitable by 2100 [6.6.3]. Effective adaptation to climate change can be integrated with wider coastal management, reducing implementation costs among other benefits [].

The unavoidability of sea-level rise, even in the longer term, frequently conflicts with present-day human development patterns and trends (high confidence).

Sea-level rise has substantial inertia and will continue beyond 2100 for many centuries [WG1 AR4 Chapter 10]. Breakdown of the West Antarctic and/or Greenland ice sheets would make this long-term rise significantly larger. For Greenland, the temperature threshold for breakdown is estimated to be about 1.1 to 3.8°C above today's global average temperature. This is likely to happen by 2100 under the A1B scenario [WG1 AR4 Chapter 10]. This questions both the long-term viability of many coastal settlements and infrastructure (e.g., nuclear power stations) across the globe and the current trend of increasing human use of the coastal zone, including a significant coastward migration. This issue presents a challenge for long-term coastal spatial planning. Stabilisation of climate is likely to reduce the risks of ice sheet breakdown, and reduce but not stop sea-level rise due to thermal expansion [B6.6]. Hence, since the IPCC Third Assessment it has become virtually certain that the most appropriate response to sea-level rise for coastal areas is a combination of adaptation to deal with the inevitable rise, and mitigation to limit the long-term rise to a manageable level [6.6.5,6.7].

Industry, settlement and society

Virtually all of the world's people live in settlements, and many depend on industry, services and infrastructure for jobs, well-being and mobility. For these people, climate change adds a new challenge in assuring sustainable development for societies across the globe. Impacts associated with this challenge will be determined mainly by trends in human systems in future decades as climate conditions exacerbate or ameliorate stresses associated with non-climate systems [7.1.1, 7.4, 7.6, 7.7].

Inherent uncertainties in predicting the path of technological and institutional change and trends in socio-economic development over a period of many decades limit the potential to project future prospects for industry, settlements and society involving considerable climate change from prospects involving relatively little climate change. In many cases, therefore, research to date has tended to focus on vulnerabilities to impacts rather than on projections of impacts of change, saying more about what could happen than about what is expected to happen [7.4].

Key vulnerabilities of industry, settlements and society are most often related to (i) climate phenomena that exceed thresholds for adaptation, related to the rate and magnitude of climate change, particularly extreme weather events and/or abrupt climate change, and (ii) limited access to resources (financial, human, institutional) to cope, rooted in issues of development context (see Table TS.1) [7.4.1, 7.4.3, 7.6, 7.7].

Findings about the context for assessing vulnerabilities are as follows.

Climate change vulnerabilities of industry, settlement and society are mainly to extreme weather events rather than to gradual climate change, although gradual changes can be associated with thresholds beyond which impacts become significant (high confidence).

The significance of gradual climate change, e.g., increases in the mean temperature, lies mainly in variability and volatility, including changes in the intensity and frequency of extreme events [7.2,7.4].

Climate driven phenomena

Evidence for current impact/vulnerability

Other processes/stresses Projected future impact/vulnerability

Zones, groups affected

a) Changes in extremes

Tropical cyclones, storm surge

Flood and wind casualties and damages; economic losses; transport, tourism; nfrastructure (e.g., energy, transport); insurance [7.4.2, 7.4.3, B7.2, 7.5].

Land use/population density in flood-prone areas; flood defences; institutional capacities.

Increased vulnerability in storm-prone coastal areas; possible effects on settlements, health, tourism, economic and transportation systems, buildings and infrastructure.

Coastal areas, settlements, and activities; regions and populations with limited capacities and resources; fixed infrastructure; insurance sector.

Extreme rainfall, riverine floods

Erosion/landslides; land flooding; settlements; transportation systems; nfrastructure [7.4.2, regional chapters].

Similar to coastal storms plus drainage infrastructure.

Similar to coastal storms plus drainage infrastructure.

Similar to coastal storms.

Heat- or cold-waves

Effects on human health; social stability; requirements for energy, water and other services (e.g., water or food storage); infrastructure (e.g., energy transportation) [7.2, B7.1,,].

Building design and internal temperature control; social contexts; institutional capacities.

Increased vulnerabilities in some regions and populations; health effects; changes in energy requirements.

Mid-latitude areas; elderly, very young, and/or very poor populations.


Water availability; livelihoods, energy generation, migration, transportation in water bodies [,,].

Water systems; competing water uses; energy demand; water demand constraints.

Water-resource challenges in affected areas; shifts in locations of population and economic activities; additional investments in water supply.

Semi-arid and arid regions; poor areas and populations; areas with human-induced water scarcity.

b) Changes in means


Energy demands and costs; urban air quality; thawing of permafrost soils; tourism and recreation; retail consumption; livelihoods; loss of meltwater [,,,].

Demographic and economic changes; land-use changes; technological innovations; air pollution; institutional capacities.

Shifts in energy demand; worsening of air quality; impacts on settlements and livelihoods depending on meltwater; threats to settlements/infrastructure from thawing permafrost soils in some regions.

Very diverse, but greater vulnerabilities in places and populations with more limited capacities and resources for adaptation.


Agricultural livelihoods; saline intrusion; water infrastructures; tourism; energy supplies [,,].

Competition from other regions/sectors; water resource allocation.

Depending on the region, vulnerabilities in some areas to effects of precipitation increases (e.g., flooding, but could be positive) and in some areas to decreases (see drought above).

Poor regions and populations.

Sea-level rise

Coastal land uses: flood risk, waterlogging; water infrastructures [,].

Trends in coastal development, settlements and land uses.

Long-term increases in vulnerabilities of low-lying coastal areas.

Same as above.

Table TS.1. Selected examples of current and projected climate-change impacts on industry, settlement and society and their interaction with other processes [for full text, see 7.4.3, T7.4]. Orange shading indicates very significant in some areas and/or sectors; yellow indicates significant; pale brown indicates that significance is less clearly established.

Aside from major extreme events, climate change is seldom the main factor in considering stresses on sustainability (very high confidence).

The significance of climate change (positive or negative) lies in its interactions with other sources of change and stress, and its impacts should be considered in such a multi-cause context [7.1.3,7.2,7.4].

Vulnerabilities to climate change depend considerably on relatively specific geographical and sectoral contexts (very high confidence).

They are not reliably estimated by large-scale (aggregate) modelling and estimation [7.2, 7.4].

Climate change impacts spread from directly impacted areas and sectors to other areas and sectors through extensive and complex linkages (very high confidence).

In many cases, total impacts are poorly estimated by considering only direct impacts [7.4].


Climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths (very high confidence).

Human beings are exposed to climate change through changing weather patterns (for example, more intense and frequent extreme events) and indirectly through changes in water, air, food quality and quantity, ecosystems, agriculture and economy. At this early stage the effects are small, but are projected to progressively increase in all countries and regions [8.4.1].

Projected trends in climate-change related exposures of importance to human health will have important consequences (high confidence).

Projected climate-change related exposures are likely to affect the health status of millions of people, particularly those with low adaptive capacity, through:

• increases in malnutrition and consequent disorders, with implications for child growth and development;

• increased deaths, disease and injury due to heatwaves, floods, storms, fires and droughts;

• the increased burden of diarrhoeal disease;

• mixed effects on the range (increases and decreases) and transmission potential of malaria in Africa;

• the increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone related to climate change;

• the altered spatial distribution of some infectious-disease vectors.

Adaptive capacity needs to be improved everywhere (high confidence).

Impacts of recent hurricanes and heatwaves show that even high-income countries are not well prepared to cope with extreme weather events [8.2.1, 8.2.2].

Negative impact

Positive impact

Very high confidence

Malaria: contraction and expansion, changes in transmission season

High confidence

Increase in malnutrition

Increase in the number of people suffering _

from deaths, disease and injuries from extreme weather events

Increase in the frequency of cardio-respiratory ^^^^ diseases from changes in air quality

Change in the range of infectious disease vectors ^

Reduction of cold-related deaths

Medium confidence

Increase in the burden of diarrhoeal diseases

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