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

“Increased energy security, access for all, avoided air pollution damages and reduced water use, land contamination and environmental degradation,” Dr Fahad Saeed lists the benefits of a shift to renewables for Pakistan.  
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

In late 2020, Switzerland formally updated its national determined contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal by targeting a higher level of domestic emissions reductions by 2030. This modest goal was defeated in a referendum on June 12, 2021. While the current Swiss government has reiterated its commitment to 50% overall reductions by 2030, implementation now relies on the Federal Council’s 2016 recommendation to achieve a 30% reduction in domestic emissions by 2030, with the remainder to be attained through emissions reductions achieved overseas. But is this 2030 goal enough to put Switzerland on track to achieve its goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and preserve its glaciers?  
The impacts of climate change are affecting human societies today. In parallel, socio-economic development has increased the capacity of countries around the global to adapt to those impacts although substantial challenges remain. Countries' effectiveness in fostering climate resilience will depend on the pace of both developments under different socio-economic and emission pathways. In this study we assess trajectories of adaptation readiness in comparison with the continued emergence of hot days as a proxy for climate change hazards for different emission and socio-economic pathways over the 21st century.  
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.  

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.