IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Urban development, infrastructure linkages, industry and energy

The compounding influence of future rises in temperature due to global warming, along with increases in temperature due to local urban heat-island effects, makes cities more vulnerable to higher temperatures than would be expected due to global warming alone (Kalnay and Cai, 2003; Patz et al., 2005). Existing stresses in urban areas include crime, traffic congestion, compromised air and water quality, and disruptions due to development and deterioration of infrastructure. Climate change is likely to amplify some of these stresses (Honda et al., 2003), although much of the interactions are not yet well understood. For example, it has been suggested that climate change will exacerbate the existing heat-island phenomenon in cities of Japan by absorbing increased solar radiation (Shimoda, 2003). This will lead to further increases in temperatures in urban areas with negative implications for energy and water consumption, human health and discomfort, and local ecosystems. Vulnerabilities of urban communities in megacities of Asia to long-term impacts of projected climate change need to be assessed in terms of energy, communication, transportation, water run-off and water quality, as well as the interrelatedness of these systems, and implications for public health (McMichael et al., 2003).

Nature-based tourism is one of the booming industries in Asia, especially ski resorts, beach resorts and ecotourist destinations which are likely vulnerable to climate change; yet only a few assessment studies are on hand for this review. Fukushima et al. (2002) reported a drop of more than 30% in skiers in almost all ski areas in Japan except in the northern region (Hokkaido) and high altitude regions (centre of the Main Island) in the event of a 3°C increase in air temperature. If the mean June to August temperature rises by 1°C in Japan, consumption of summer products such as air-conditioners, beer, soft drinks, clothing and electricity are projected to increase about 5% (Harasawa and Nishioka, 2003). Table 10.7 lists a summary of projected impacts of global warming on industries and energy sectors identified in Japan.

Limited studies on the impacts of climate change on the energy sector in Asia suggest that this sector will be affected by climate change. In particular, South Asia is expected to account for one-fifth of the world’s total energy consumption by the end of 21st century (Parikh and Bhattacharya, 2004). An increase in the energy consumption of industry, residential and transport sectors could be significant as population, urbanisation and industrialisation rise. It is likely that climate change will influence the pattern of change in energy consumption that could have significant effects on CO2 emission in this region.

Table 10.7. A summary of projected impacts of global warming on industries and energy sectors identified in Japan.

Changes in climate parameters  Impacts  
1°C temperature increase in June to August About 5% increase of consumption of summer products 
Extension of high temperature period Increase of consumption of air-conditioners, beer, soft drinks, ice creams 
Increase in thunder storms Damage to information devices and facilities 
1°C temperature increase in summer Increase in electricity demand by about 5 million kW Increase in electricity demand in factories to enhance production  
Increase in annual average temperature Increase of household electricity consumption in southern Japan Decrease in total energy consumption for cooling, warming in northern Japan  
Change in amount and pattern of rainfall  Hydroelectric power generation, management and implementation of dams, cooling water management 
1°C increase in cooling water temperature 0.2 to 0.4% reduction of generation of electricity in thermal power plants, 1 to 2% reduction in nuclear power plant