Climate Impacts and Risk Assessment

 ©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0
©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0

Our work focuses on understanding the effects of climate change on livelihood realities and development perspectives of especially vulnerable population groups. Impact and vulnerability assessments provide an important basis for the identification of adaptation requirements as well as analyses of loss and damage. Through assessing the implications of impacts at different levels of warming, we gain a better understanding of the implications of different emission pathways. SIDS and LDCs face particularly great challenges. Their physical exposure and the limited number of available adaptation options as well as adaptive capacity are key determinants of their vulnerability.

Latest

Fatal heatwaves could affect hundreds of millions of people as global temperatures rise, a new study estimates. Heat stress events are considered potentially deadly when 'wet bulb' temperatures exceed 35C for three or more days. In this new research, the team found that, with an increase of 2C, there could be 774 million exposures to potentially unsurvivable heat by 2050. At 1.5C, that number would be nearly half, at 423 million.  

Publications

This study, led by scientists from Climate Analytics, an international climate science and policy institute, is first to show that just half a degree of extra warming between 1.5°C and 2°C makes a big difference in terms of heat stress risk posed to Muslims carrying out religious rites in Saudi Arabia during summer, where the mercury frequently climbs over 45°C even now.  
Gender inequalities are reflected in differential vulnerability, and exposure to the hazards posed by climate change and addressing them is key to increase the adaptive capacities of societies. This study highlights the importance of incorporating gender in scenarios assessing future climate impacts and underscores the relevance of addressing gender inequalities in policies aiming to foster climate resilient development.  
There are currently 2.3 billion children under the age of 18 living on earth who are among the group of people most vulnerable to climate change. Already today the global average temperature is 1°C above pre industrial times. The likelihood of children to live in a 1.5°, 2° and 3° world is significantly higher than for adults.  
Climate change will be the greatest threat to humanity and global ecosystems in the coming years, and there is a pressing need to understand and communicate the impacts of warming, across the perspectives of the natural and social sciences. Hoegh-Guldberg et al. review the climate change–impact literature, expanding on the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They provide evidence of the impacts of warming at 1°, 1.5°, and 2°C—and higher—for the physical system, ecosystems, agriculture, and human livelihoods. The benefits of limiting climate change to no more than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels would outweigh the costs.  
Highly seasonal water supplies from the Himalayan watersheds of Jhelum, Kabul and upper Indus basin are critical for managing the world's largest contiguous irrigation system of the Indus basin and its dependent agrarian economy of Pakistan. Here, we assess changes in the contrasting hydrological regimes of these Himalayan watersheds, and subsequent water availability under the Paris Agreement 2015 targets that aim of limiting the mean global warming to 1.5 °C, and further, well below 2.0 °C relative to pre-industrial levels.  
This article contains the review of scientific evidence of regional differences in climate hazards at 1.5°C and 2°C and provides an assessment of selected hotspots of climate change, including small islands as well as rural, urban, and coastal areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, that are particularly affected by the additional 0.5°C global mean temperature increase.  

Projects

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete projects.  
This project aims to improve the understanding of future risks from water scarcity and food insecurity in particularly vulnerable countries in the Horn of Africa Drylands, and to support community-centered climate adaptation and resilience. It aims to enhancing the climate service capacity in this region and support adaptation policies and communication.  
The EmBARK-project investigates time scales and possible trajectories of socio-economic transformation processes and analyse their relevance as potential barriers to adaptation to climate change. An improved understanding of the temporal dynamics of such barriers is key in developing a more realistic understanding of future climate impacts and for scientifically robust assessment of future climate related loss and damage.  
The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
The Caribbean region is highly exposed to tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding, and naturally induced disasters. These hazards represent a significant risk to the inhabitants and economies of the Caribbean countries. The Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean (CRAIC) project assists Caribbean countries in their efforts to increase social resilience and adapt to climate change by incorporating climate risk insurance within a broader framework of disaster risk reduction strategies.  
This project is an extension of the PAS-PNA project in Benin, Senegal and Burkina Faso. In each country, Climate Analytics, together with the national Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity, is conducting the pre-feasibility or feasibility studies for selected adaptation projects, providing governments with an evidence-base to support the development of GCF concept notes and funding proposals.