Unfortunately each year it seems less likely that the world will keep below an average global warming of two degrees because the amount of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere is each year a record amount. In addition to each year's cumulative challenge of reducing carbon dioxide, is the increasing need to prepare and adapt for the changes in climate and weather.
At HELIX we are focusing on 2, 4 and 6 °C land and coastal impacts and their consequences for food, water security, energy security, flooding, infrastructure, ecosystems, health, migration, and risk of conflict. All of our results are supported with a comprehensive analysis of confidence and uncertainty. We have three regions of study: Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa in the Northern Hemisphere, and the north-East Indian sub-continent.
HELIX has two sister projects that are funded by the EU to look at the consequences of high-end scenarios of climate change. IMPRESSIONS is focusing upon local case-studies within Europe and RISES-AM, local case-studies of sea-level rise.
Professor Richard Betts, the project Director, describes the HELIX project (1.5 minute video)
HELIX Sister Projects
IMPRESSIONS (Impacts and Risks from High-End Sce- narios: Strategies for Innovative Solutions) is developing and applying a novel participatory methodology that explicitly deals with uncertainties and strong non-linear changes using a range of scenarios focusing on high- er-end climate change, but also including intermediate and 2°C warming levels. This new methodology will create a coherent set of higher-end climate and socio-economic scenarios which will be applied to a range of climate change impact, adaptation and vulnerability models that build on theories of complex systems and address tipping elements as key characteristics of such systems. IMPRESSIONS is led by Paula Harrison at Oxford Univer- sity's Environmental Change Institute and Mark Rounsev- ell at the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
Coastal areas concentrate vulnerability to climate change due to high levels of population, economic activity and ecological values. RISES-AM addresses the economy-wide impacts of coastal systems to various types of high-end climatic scenarios (including marine and river- ine variables). It encompasses analyses from global to local scales across the full range of representative con- centration pathways (RCPs) and shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs). It considers the still significant uncer- tainties in "drivers" (physical and socio-economic) and coastal system responses (e.g. land loss or uses, biologi- cal functions, economic productivity) within a hazard-vul- nerability-risk approach. The emphasis is on the advantag- es of flexible management with novel types of coastal interventions (e.g. "green" options) within an adaptive pathway whose tipping points will be identified/quantified in the project. RISES-AM is led by Vicente Gracia at Centre Internacional d'Investigació dels Recursos Costan- ers, Spain.
HELIX Work Packages
HELIX is divided into ten Work Packages of research and communication activities [WPs 1-10]. Several of HELIX's component parts involve a first phase initial assessment where we use information drawn from across existing research. Our second phase is building on the initial assessment to construct HELIX's climate projections and biophysical impacts at high-resolution for four, six and two degrees Celsius. The Work Packages in Brief are:
- Engagement and communication [WP1]
- Pathways to Specific Warming Levels [WP2]
- High Resolution Timeslices and Regional Downscaling [WP3]
- Global Biophysical Impacts [WP4]
- Global Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts [WP5]
- Project Management [WP6]
- Regional Focus- Europe [WP7]
- Regional Focus Sub-Saharan Africa (Northern Hemisphere) [WP8]
- Regional Focus South Asia [WP9]
- Risk Management of Tipping Points [WP10]
University of Exeter
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
VU University Amsterdam
Joint Research Centre
World Food Programme
University de Liege
Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique
Sveriges Meteorologiska Och Hydrologiska Institut
Potsdam Institute Fuer Klimafolgenforschung
University College London
Technical University of Crete
IGAD Centre for Climate Prediction and Application
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer
National Agency of Civil Aviation of Senegal