Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

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19. Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: A Synthesis Contents

Executive Summary

19.1. Introduction

19.1.1. Reasons for Concern
19.1.2. Choice of Indicator
19.1.3. Role of Adaptation
19.1.4. Chapter Organization

19.2. Observations of Climate Change Impacts

19.2.1. Methods of Analysis
19.2.2. Synthesis of Observed Impacts Hydrology Terrestrial Ecosystems Vegetation Animals Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems Physical processes Marine ecosystems Socioeconomic Systems Agriculture and commercial fisheries Energy, industry, human settlements, and financial and insurance services Human health
19.2.3. Conclusions

19.3. Impacts on Unique and Threatened Systems

19.3.1. What are Unique and Threatened Systems?
19.3.2. Physical Systems Tropical Glaciers
19.3.3. Biological Systems Risks to Species and Ecosystems Biodiversity Hot Spots Ecotones Coral Reefs Mangrove Ecosystems
19.3.4. Human Systems Threatened Small Island States Indigenous Communities
19.3.5. Conclusions

19.4. Distribution of Impacts

19.4.1. Analysis of Distributional Incidence: State of the Art
19.4.2. Distribution of Impacts by Sector
19.4.3. Distribution of Total Impacts

19.5. Aggregate Impacts

19.5.1. Aggregate Analysis: An Assessment
19.5.2. Insights and Lessons: The Static Picture
19.5.3. Insights and Lessons: Vulnerability over Time
19.5.4. Sensitivity of Aggregate Estimates Composition of Impact Function Shape of Damage Function Rate of Change Discount Rate and Time Horizon Welfare Criteria Treatment of Uncertainty

19.6. Extreme and Irreversible Effects

19.6.1. The Irregular Face of Climate Change
19.6.2. Characteristics of Singularities
19.6.3. Impacts of Climate Change Singularities Extreme Weather Events Large-Scale Singularities Nonlinear response of North Atlantic thermohaline circulation Disintegration of West Antarctic ice sheet
19.6.4. Climate Protection in an Irregular World

19.7. Limitations of Methods and Directions for Future Research

19.7.1. Observations
19.7.2. Studies of Unique and Threatened Systems
19.7.3. Distributional Impacts
19.7.4. Aggregate Approaches
19.7.5. Integrated Assessment Frameworks
19.7.6. Extreme Events
19.7.7. Large-Scale Singular Events
19.7.8. Looking across Analytic Approaches

19.8. Conclusions

19.8.1. Observations
19.8.2. What does Each Reason for Concern Indicate? Unique and Threatened Systems Distributional Impacts Aggregate Impacts Extreme Climate Effects Large-Scale Singularities


Joel B. Smith (USA), Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber (Germany), and M. Monirul Qader Mirza (Bangladesh)

Lead Authors:
S. Fankhauser (Switzerland), R. Leemans (The Netherlands), Lin Erda (China),
L. Ogallo (Kenya), B. Pittock (Australia), R. Richels (USA), C. Rosenzweig (USA), U. Safriel (Israel), R.S.J. Tol (The Netherlands), J. Weyant (USA), G. Yohe (USA)

Contributing Authors:
W. Bond (South Africa), T. Bruckner (Germany), A. Iglesias (Spain), A.J. McMichael (UK), C. Parmesan (USA), J. Price (USA), S. Rahmstorf (Germany), T. Root (USA), T. Wigley (USA), K. Zickfeld (Germany)

Review Editors:
C. Hope (United Kingdom) and S.K. Sinha (India)

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