IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

19.3 Identification and assessment of key vulnerabilities

This section discusses what the authors have identified as possible key vulnerabilities based on the criteria specified in the Introduction and Section 19.2, and on the literature on impacts that may be considered potentially ‘dangerous’ in the sense of Article 2. The key vulnerabilities identified in this section are, as noted earlier, not a comprehensive list but illustrate a range of impacts relevant for policy-makers. Section 19.3.1 introduces, in condensed tabular form, key vulnerabilities, organising them by type of system, i.e., market, social, ecological or geophysical. The following sections discuss some of the key vulnerabilities by type of system, and add discussions of extreme events and an update on the ‘reasons for concern’ framework from the TAR. Each sub-section is cross-referenced to the relevant sections of the Fourth Assessment Report as well as primary publications from which more detail can be obtained. As noted in Section 19.1.1, the likelihood and confidence judgements in this section reflect the assessments of the authors of this chapter.