Mar 30, 2014

IPCC AR5 WGII: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L.White (eds.)
Cambridge University Press

The Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds:

  • Changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans in recent decades
  • Changing precipitation or melting snow and ice are altering hydrological systems, affecting water resources in terms of quantity and quality, in many regions
  • Many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species have shifted their geographic ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, abundances, and species interactions in response to ongoing climate change
  • Based on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops—that negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts
  • At present the worldwide burden of human ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors and is not well quantified
  • Differences in vulnerability and exposure arise from non-climatic factors and from multidimensional inequalities often produced by uneven development processes
  • Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability
  • Climate-related hazards exacerbate other stressors, often with negative outcomes for livelihoods, especially for people living in poverty
  • Violent conflict increases vulnerability to climate change
  • Adaptation is becoming embedded in some planning processes, with more limited implementation of responses
  • Adaptation experience is accumulating across regions in the public and private sector and within communities; governments at various levels are starting to develop adaptation plans and policies and to integrate climate-change considerations into broader development plans
  • Responding to climate-related risks involves decision making in a changing world, with continuing uncertainty about the severity and timing of climate-change impacts and with limits to the effectiveness of adaptation
  • Adaptation and mitigation choices in the near term will affect the risks of climate change throughout the 21st century
  • Assessment of risks in the WGII AR5 relies on diverse forms of evidence. Expert judgment is used to integrate evidence into evaluations of risks
  • Uncertainties about future vulnerability, exposure, and responses of interlinked human and natural systems are large
  • Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts
  • The overall risks of climate change impacts can be reduced by limiting the rate and magnitude of climate change

For more, see report below