Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1

  The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made the following regional predictions:

Region Adaptive capacity, vulnerability and key concerns
AfricaAdaptive capacity of human systems is low due to lack of economic resources and technology, and vulnerability high as a result of heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture, frequent droughts and floods, and poverty.
Grain yields are projected to decrease for many scenarios, diminishing food security, particularly in small food importing countries.
Major rivers are highly sensitive to climate variation; average runoff and water availability would decrease in Mediterranean and southern countries of Africa.
Extension of ranges of infectious disease vectors would adversely affect human health.
Desertification would be exacerbated by reductions in average annual rainfall, runoff, and soil moisture, especially in southern, North and West Africa.
Increase in droughts, floods and other extreme events would constrain development.
Coastal settlements, in for example, the Gulf of Guinea, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt, and along the East-Southern African coast would be adversely impacted by sea-level rise through inundation and coastal erosion.
AsiaAdaptive capacity of human systems is low and vulnerability high in the developing countries of Asia; the developed countries of Asia are more able to adapt and less vulnerable.
Extreme events have increased in temperate and tropical Asia, including floods, droughts, forest fires, and tropical cyclones.
Decreasing agricultural productivity and aquaculture due to thermal and water stress, sea-level rise, floods and droughts, and tropical cyclones would diminish food security in many countries of arid, tropical, and temperate Asia; agriculture would expand and increase in productivity in northern areas.
Runoff and water availability may decrease in arid and semi-arid Asia but increase in northern Asia.
Human health would be threatened by possible increased exposure to vector-borne diseases and heat stress in parts of Asia.
Sea-level rise and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones would displace tens of millions of people in low-lying coastal areas of temperate and tropical Asia; increased intensity of rainfall would increase flood risks in temperate and tropical Asia.
Latin America Adaptive capacity of human systems is low, particularly with respect to climate events, and vulnerability high.
Loss and retreat of glaciers would adversely impact runoff and water supply in areas where glacier melt is an important water source.
Floods and droughts would become more frequent with floods increasing sediment loads and degrade water quality in some areas.
Increases in the intensity of tropical cyclones would alter the risks to life, property, and ecosystems from heavy rain, flooding, storm surges, and wind damages.
Yields of important crops are projected to decrease in many locations, even when the effects of CO2 are taken into account; subsistence farming in some regions of could be threatened.
The geographical distribution of vector-borne diseases would expand towards the poles and to high elevations, and exposures to diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and cholera will increase.
Coastal human settlements, productive activities, infrastructure, and mangrove ecosystems would be negatively affected by sea-level rise.
The rate of biodiversity loss would increase.
Small island statesAdaptive capacity of human systems is generally low and vulnerability high; small island states will be among the most seriously impacted by climate change.
The projected annual sea-level rise of 5 millimetres for the next 100 years would cause enhanced coastal erosion, loss of land and property, dislocation of people, increased risk from storm surges, reduced resilience of coastal ecosystems, saltwater intrusion into freshwater resources, and high resource costs to respond and adapt to these changes.
Islands with limited water supplies are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on the water balance.
Coral reefs would be negatively affected by bleaching and by reduced calcification rates due to higher CO2 level; mangrove, sea grass bed, and other coastal ecosystems and the associated biodiversity would be adversely affected by rising temperatures and accelerated sea-level rise.
Declines in coastal ecosystems would negatively impact reef fish and threaten reef fisheries, those who earn their livelihoods from reef fisheries, and those who rely on the fisheries as a significant food source.
Limited arable land and soil salinisation makes agriculture, both for domestic food production and cash crop exports, highly vulnerable to climate change.
Tourism would face severe disruption from climate change and sea-level rise.
EuropeAdaptive capacity is generally high for human systems; southern Europe and the European Arctic are more vulnerable than other parts of Europe.
Summer runoff, water availability, and soil moisture are likely to decrease in southern Europe, and would widen the difference between the north and drought-prone south; increases are likely in winter in the south and north.
Half of alpine glaciers and large permafrost areas could disappear by end of 21st century.
River flood hazard will increase across much of Europe; in coastal areas the risk of flooding, erosion, and wetland loss will increase substantially with implications for human settlement, industry, tourism, agriculture, and coastal natural habitats.
There will be some broadly positive effects on agriculture in northern Europe; productivity will decrease in southern and eastern Europe.

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Prepared 23 July 2002