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

7.1.2 Scope of the chapter

Guidance for the preparation of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report requested particular attention by this chapter to five systems of interest: industry, services, utilities/infrastructure, human settlement and social issues. Chapter 5 of the report deals with impacts and adaptation on the food, fibre and forest products sectors, and Chapters 9 to 16 deal with impacts and adaptation in global regions.

Chapter 7’s topic of ‘industry, settlement and society’ is clearly very broad; and many of the components of the chapter, such as industry and services, settlements, financial and social issues, are so heterogeneous that each could be the subject of a separate chapter. Very briefly, however, the chapter will summarise and assess the literature relevant to the impacts of climate change on the structure, functioning, and relationships of all of these components of human systems potentially affected by climate change, positively or negatively.

The chapter (1) identifies current and potential vulnerabilities and positive or negative impacts of climate change on industrial, service and infrastructure sectors, human settlements and human societies; (2) assesses the current knowledge about the costs of possible impacts; and (3) considers possible adaptive responses. In general, it emphasises that climate-change impacts, adaptation potentials, and vulnerabilities are context-specific, related to the characteristics and development pathways of the location or sector involved.