Impacts and Vulnerability

Regional impacts and vulnerabilities are strongly dependent on the specific setting of physical exposure, the socio-economic development and livelihoods. Our work in this area focuses on assessing the full pathway from regional biophysical impacts to risks and damages, in order to identify adaptation priorities and to better understand the implications of different global goals of limiting climate change.

Publications

The contributions of single greenhouse gas emitters to country-level climate change are generally not disentangled, despite their relevance for climate policy and litigation. Here, we quantify the contributions of the five largest emitters (China, US, EU-27, India, and Russia) to projected 2030 country-level warming and extreme hot years with respect to pre-industrial climate using an innovative suite of Earth System Model emulators.  
Although effects on labour is one of the most tangible and attributable climate impact, our quantification of these effects is insufficient and based on weak methodologies. Partly, this gap is due to the inability to resolve different impact channels, such as changes in time allocation (labour supply) and slowdown of work (labour productivity). Explicitly resolving those in a multi-model inter-comparison framework can help to improve estimates of the effects of climate change on labour effectiveness.  
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?  

Projects

The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
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.  
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.  
SLICE is investigating Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Climate Extremes and aims to develop a systematic understanding of the channels through which climate extremes impact socio-economic development all the way from the household to the macroeconomic level. This will help developing effective strategies for long-term economic development under climate change.