Global Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts [WP5]

We have provided a set of consistent socioeconomic runs for the 4, 6, 2 and 1.5°C Specific Warming Levels, taking into account the recent Shared Socio-ecosystem Pathways (SSPs) of the Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium (IAMC). The Shared Socio-ecosystem pathways have a set of five narratives regarding possible futures of the socioeconomic system, depending both on the socioeconomic challenges for adaptation and mitigation. The SSPs are related to the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and the narrative logic behind each SSP will be considered to derive the socioeconomic runs for the HELIX project selected runs.

4°C Assessment
We undertook a preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of 4°C global warming, using the existing ISI-MIP dataset on climate impacts on river flows, water availability, crop productivity, ecosystem functioning, and coastal flooding. This initial work has allowed methodologies to be tested, and initial results to be communicated to stakeholders for discussion. Later, HELIX’s new climate scenarios and biophysical impacts projections at high-resolution allowed for a better assessment of the socio-economic impacts of changes in climate extremes. These results, from a model called GEM-E3, were compared with those of a second model FUND. Modelled impacts here include agriculture, forestry, sea level rise, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, influenced by cold and heat stress, malaria, dengue fever, schistosomiasis, diarrhoea, energy consumption, water resources, unmanaged ecosystems and tropical and extratropical storm impacts.

Impacts on Energy
We assessed the socio-economic impact of 4, 6 and 2°C on the production of energy and energy demand, such as more generation of electricity for cooling in a warmer climate and less generation of electricity needed for heating, or less water available for generating hydro-electricity. We also assessed the effects of 4, 6, 2 and 1.5°C on global transport, such as risk to transport infrastructure and to sea-ports. Tipping Points might have an impact on the opening of the Arctic sea-route, creating new shorted channels for global shipping, for example.

Impacts on Health
Impacts on human health modelled and analysed with FUND. FUND distinguishes seven different health impacts differentiated by age group, region, and development status. The model computes the number of premature deaths and the number of disability-adjusted life years lost (morbidity). The biophysical impacts of WP4 was integrated with these impacts on human health, transport and energy into GEM-E3 and FUND to produce a global assessment of climate impacts.

Regional Impacts
The model results were inter-compared at several levels, from specific sectors up to the global economy. We compared these global-scale impacts with the equivalent regional-scale assessments from the regional focuses. We included comparison of impacts on the energy sector in Europe based on regional climate modelling with the global assessment from TIAM-UCL, food vulnerability in Africa, and impacts of flooding and water stress in S. Asia.

Impacts on Migration and Human Security
Current estimates and forecasts of future migration are generally considered as unreliable and so the HELIX model departed from the common deterministic perspective and integrated a range of different policy options in order to yield realistic migration possibilities for a range of different climate scenarios. A review of possible policy responses to such migration patterns was also conducted through policy dialogues with local stakeholders.

Reports and deliverables by WP5:

Deliverable 5.1 Socio-Economic scenarios

Deliverable 5.2 Preliminary Global assessment of economic impacts of climate change at 4 degrees C global warming

Deliverable 5.3 Global assessment of impacts on human health

Deliverable 5.4 Global assessment of impacts on transport

Deliverable 5.5 Global assessment of impacts on energy

Deliverable 5.6 Global assessment of socio-economic impacts from GEM-E3 and FUND models

Deliverable 5.7 Global assessment of impacts on migration and security issues

Deliverable 5.8 Synthesis report of WP5