Quantifying risks avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2°C above pre-industrial levels

Warren, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0122-1599, Andrews, Oliver, Brown, Sally, Colón-González, Felipe J., Forstenhäusler, Nicole, Gernaat, David E. H. J., Goodwin, Philip, Harris, Ian, He, Yi, Hope, Chris, Manful, Desmond, Osborn, Timothy J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8425-6799, Price, Jeff, van Vuuren, Detlef and Wright, Rebecca Mary (2022) Quantifying risks avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Climatic Change, 172 (3-4). ISSN 0165-0009

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Abstract

The Paris Agreement aims to constrain global warming to ‘well below 2 °C’ and to ‘pursue efforts’ to limit it to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. We quantify global and regional risk-related metrics associated with these levels of warming that capture climate change–related changes in exposure to water scarcity and heat stress, vector-borne disease, coastal and fluvial flooding and projected impacts on agriculture and the economy, allowing for uncertainties in regional climate projection. Risk-related metrics associated with 2 °C warming, depending on sector, are reduced by 10–44% globally if warming is further reduced to 1.5 °C. Comparing with a baseline in which warming of 3.66 °C occurs by 2100, constraining warming to 1.5 °C reduces these risk indicators globally by 32–85%, and constraining warming to 2 °C reduces them by 26–74%. In percentage terms, avoided risk is highest for fluvial flooding, drought, and heat stress, but in absolute terms risk reduction is greatest for drought. Although water stress decreases in some regions, it is often accompanied by additional exposure to flooding. The magnitude of the percentage of damage avoided is similar to that calculated for avoided global economic risk associated with these same climate change scenarios. We also identify West Africa, India and North America as hotspots of climate change risk in the future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding: This research leading to these results received funding from the UK Government, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as part of the Implications of global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C project. OA, YH, JP and RW were also funded by joint UK NERC and UK Government Department of BEIS grant NE/P01495X/1.
Uncontrolled Keywords: avoided impacts,climate change,economic damages,fluvial flooding,hotspots,mitigation,paris agreement,global and planetary change,atmospheric science ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 09:32
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 07:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82594
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-021-03277-9

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