IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report

3.3.2 Impacts on regions[17]

  • By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. {WGII 9.4, SPM}
  • By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Errata Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised. This would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition. {WGII 9.4, SPM}
  • Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea level rise will affect low-lying coastal areas with large populations. The cost of adaptation could amount to at least 5 to 10% of GDP. {WGII 9.4, SPM}
  • By 2080, an increase of 5 to 8% of arid and semi-arid land in Africa is projected under a range of climate scenarios (high confidence). {WGII Box TS.6, 9.4.4}
  • By the 2050s, freshwater availability in Central, South, East and South-East Asia, particularly in large river basins, is projected to decrease. {WGII 10.4, SPM}
  • Coastal areas, especially heavily populated megadelta regions in South, East and South-East Asia, will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and, in some megadeltas, flooding from the rivers. {WGII 10.4, SPM}
  • Climate change is projected to compound the pressures on natural resources and the environment associated with rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and economic development. {WGII 10.4, SPM}
  • Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise in East, South and South-East Asia due to projected changes in the hydrological cycle. {WGII 10.4, SPM}
Australia and New Zealand
  • By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. {WGII 11.4, SPM}
  • By 2030, water security problems are projected to intensify in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions. {WGII 11.4, SPM}
  • By 2030, production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in some other regions. {WGII 11.4, SPM}
  • By 2050, ongoing coastal development and population growth in some areas of Australia and New Zealand are projected to exacerbate risks from sea level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding. {WGII 11.4, SPM}
  • Climate change is expected to magnify regional differences in Europe‚Äôs natural resources and assets. Negative impacts will include increased risk of inland flash floods and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea level rise). {WGII 12.4, SPM}
  • Mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism, and extensive species losses (in some areas up to 60% under high emissions scenarios by 2080). {WGII 12.4, SPM}
  • In southern Europe, climate change is projected to worsen conditions (high temperatures and drought) in a region already vulnerable to climate variability, and to reduce water availability, hydropower potential, summer tourism and, in general, crop productivity. {WGII 12.4, SPM}
  • Climate change is also projected to increase the health risks due to heat waves and the frequency of wildfires. {WGII 12.4, SPM}
Latin America
  • By mid-century, increases in temperature and associated decreases in soil water are projected to lead to gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazonia. Semi-arid vegetation will tend to be replaced by arid-land vegetation. {WGII 13.4, SPM}
  • There is a risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many areas of tropical Latin America. {WGII 13.4, SPM}
  • Productivity of some important crops is projected to decrease and livestock productivity to decline, with adverse consequences for food security. In temperate zones, soybean yields are projected to increase. Overall, the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase (medium confidence). {WGII 13.4, Box TS.6}
  • Changes in precipitation patterns and the disappearance of glaciers are projected to significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation. {WGII 13.4, SPM}
North America
  • Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources. {WGII 14.4, SPM}
  • In the early decades of the century, moderate climate change is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5 to 20%, but with important variability among regions. Major challenges are projected for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or which depend on highly utilised water resources. {WGII 14.4, SPM}
  • Cities that currently experience heat waves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heat waves during the course of the century, with potential for adverse health impacts. {WGII 14.4, SPM}
  • Coastal communities and habitats will be increasingly stressed by climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution. {WGII 14.4, SPM}
Polar Regions
  • The main projected biophysical effects are reductions in thickness and extent of glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice, and changes in natural ecosystems with detrimental effects on many organisms including migratory birds, mammals and higher predators. {WGII 15.4, SPM}
  • For human communities in the Arctic, impacts, particularly those resulting from changing snow and ice conditions, are projected to be mixed. {WGII 15.4, SPM}
  • Detrimental impacts would include those on infrastructure and traditional indigenous ways of life. {WGII 15.4, SPM}
  • In both polar regions, specific ecosystems and habitats are projected to be vulnerable, as climatic barriers to species invasions are lowered. {WGII 15.4, SPM}
Small Islands
  • Sea level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities. {WGII 16.4, SPM}
  • Deterioration in coastal conditions, for example through erosion of beaches and coral bleaching, is expected to affect local resources. {WGII 16.4, SPM}
  • By mid-century, climate change is expected to reduce water resources in many small islands, e.g. in the Caribbean and Pacific, to the point where they become insufficient to meet demand during low-rainfall periods. {WGII 16.4, SPM}
  • With higher temperatures, increased invasion by non-native species is expected to occur, particularly on mid- and high-latitude islands. {WGII 16.4, SPM}
  1. ^  Unless stated explicitly, all entries are from WG II SPM text, and are either very high confidence or high confidence statements, reflecting different sectors (agriculture, ecosystems, water, coasts, health, industry and settlements). The WG II SPM refers to the source of the statements, timelines and temperatures. The magnitude and timing of impacts that will ultimately be realised will vary with the amount and rate of climate change, emissions scenarios, development pathways and adaptation.