The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change
Summary of climate impacts in relation to temperature increase
The material above on the impacts associated with different temperature increase scenarios is
summarized in the table below.
Table 10. Summary of literature review on climate impacts with different temperature
stabilisation scenarios, compiled for this report.
Within EC target <(2C) >2C to 2.5C >3C
Health Globally it is estimated that A rise of 2.3C by 2080 puts A rise of 3.3C by 2080
an average temperature rise up to 270 million at risk from would put up to 330 million
above 1.20C will cause an malaria (IS92a S>1000). at risk from malaria (IS92a
increase in premature unmit).
mortality by several hundred
accounting for extreme event
like heat waves.
Ecosystems Up to oC above pre- A rise of 1-20C above pre- For a rise ofmore than 20C
industrial levels up to 10% of industrial levels will shift up above pre-industrial levels,
ecosystem areas worldwide to 15-20% of ecosystem the global share of
will shift. areas worldwide. ecosystems shifting due to
climate change will likely be
above 20%, and much more
in some regions. Global
losses of coastal wetlands
may exceed 10%.
Agriculture The EU (and US) yields Heat stress likely to affect Higher average temperatures
increases for up to 20C subtropics/tropics for 1.70C of 2.50C in 2080 could result
temperature rise, but beyond temperature increase, in 50 million additional
this decline. people at risk of hunger.
With a 3C rise a group of
developing countries with a
population of 2 billion will
see the food deficit double.
Water For many regions under Above 2 to 2.50C global Above 2.5C warming the
water stress, global mean average temperature increase level of risk begins to
temperature increases above it is projected that additional saturate in the range of 3.1-
around 1.5C lead to 2.4 to 3.1 billion people will 3.5 billion additional persons
decreases in water supply. be at risk of water stress at risk.
Additional number of people
in water shortage regions in
the range 400-800 million for
around a 1C warming.
Major events At 1.5oC onset of complete Above 2.C risk of major Above 3.C risk of major
melting of Greenland Ice: catastrophic events, catastrophic events very
when complete 7m additional Between 2oC and 4.5oC significant. Over 4oC the
sea level rise. potential to trigger melting of probability of thermohaline
the West Antarctic Ice Sheet shutdown up to 50% or
eventually raising sea levels above.
by a further 5-6m.
We stress that within the time-scale of this project, it has not been possible to undertake a thorough
review of the impacts in aggregation, and especially to collate material for different stabilisation
targets. We highlight this as a key priority for future research.
AEA Technology Environment, August 2005
Watkiss, Paul; Downing, Tom; Handley, Claire & Butterfield, Ruth. The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change. Oxford, England. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29337/. Accessed April 19, 2014.