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Last edited 06 Oct 2022
Climate change 2022: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability IPCC report
|Below are extracts of key points from the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability IPCC which was released on 28 February 2022.
The IPCC does not carry out the research itself, but reviews and assesses existing research and other information. Thousands of scientists contribute voluntarily to the work of the IPCC in order that it can reflect a wide range of views and expertise. 195 countries are members of the IPCC, participating in the review process and the plenary sessions.
They are now in the sixth assessment reporting or cycle (AR6), this report was compiled by the second of three working groups, and is the first report issued in this cycle. The other two are:
- The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report is entitled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis and was released on 9 August 2021.
- The Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report is entitled Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change and was released on 4 April 2022.
- The Synthesis Report will be the last of the AR6 products will be considered in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 27-31 October.
To avoid interpretation, the summary text from the 'Summary for Policymakers' has been directly quoted below along with key points and sub-points. These summaries, along with the full reports for all working groups for reports between 2021 and 2022, can be accessed here: https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/ The final Synthesis report will published towards the end of 2022.
 A Introduction
"Across all three AR6 working groups, risk provides a framework for understanding the increasingly severe, interconnected and often irreversible impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human systems; differing impacts across regions, sectors and communities; and how to best reduce adverse consequences for current and future generations. In the context of climate change, risk can arise from the dynamic interactions among climate-related hazards (see Working Group I), the exposure and vulnerability8 of affected human and ecological systems. The risk that can be introduced by human responses to climate change is a new aspect considered in the risk concept. This report identifies 127 key risks."
"Adaptation plays a key role in reducing exposure and vulnerability to climate change. Adaptation in ecological systems includes autonomous adjustments through ecological and evolutionary processes. In human systems, adaptation can be anticipatory or reactive, as well as incremental and/ or transformational. The latter changes the fundamental attributes of a social-ecological system in anticipation of climate change and its impacts. Adaptation is subject to hard and soft limits"
"Resilience in the literature has a wide range of meanings. Adaptation is often organized around resilience as bouncing back and returning to a previous state after a disturbance. More broadly the term describes not just the ability to maintain essential function, identity and structure, but also the capacity for transformation."
"Since AR5, the knowledge base on observed and projected impacts and risks generated by climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability has increased with impacts attributed to climate change and key risks identified across the report. Impacts and risks are expressed in terms of their damages, harms, economic, and non-economic losses. Risks from observed vulnerabilities and responses to climate change are highlighted. Risks are projected for the near-term (2021–2040), the mid (2041–2060) and long term (2081–2100), at different global warming levels and for pathways that overshoot 1.5°C global warming level for multiple decades27. Complex risks result from multiple climate hazards occurring concurrently, and from multiple risks interacting, compounding overall risk and resulting in risks transmitting through interconnected systems and across regions."
- B.1 Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability. Some development and adaptation efforts have reduced vulnerability. Across sectors and regions the most vulnerable people and systems are observed to be disproportionately affected. The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt.
- B.2 Vulnerability of ecosystems and people to climate change differs substantially among and within regions (very high confidence), driven by patterns of intersecting socioeconomic development, unsustainable ocean and land use, inequity, marginalization, historical and ongoing patterns of inequity such as colonialism, and governance31 (high confidence). Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change (high confidence). A high proportion of species is vulnerable to climate change (high confidence). Human and ecosystem vulnerability are interdependent (high confidence). Current unsustainable development patterns are increasing exposure of ecosystems and people to climate hazards (high confidence).
- B.3 Global warming, reaching 1.5°C in the near-term, would cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans (very high confidence). The level of risk will depend on concurrent near term trends in vulnerability, exposure, level of socioeconomic development and adaptation (high confidence). Near-term actions that limit global warming to close to 1.5°C would substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change in human systems and ecosystems, compared to higher warming levels, but cannot eliminate them all (very high confidence).
- B.4 Beyond 2040 and depending on the level of global warming, climate change will lead to numerous risks to natural and human systems (high confidence). For 127 identified key risks, assessed mid-and long-term impacts are up to multiple times higher than currently observed (high confidence). The magnitude and rate of climate change and associated risks depend strongly on near-term mitigation and adaptation actions and projected adverse impacts and related losses and damages escalate with every increment of global warming (very high confidence).
- B.5 Climate change impacts and risks are becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to manage. Multiple climate hazards will occur simultaneously, and multiple climatic and non-climatic risks will interact, resulting in compounding overall risk and risks cascading across sectors and regions. Some responses to climate change result in new impacts and risks. (high confidence)
- B.6 If global warming transiently exceeds 1.5°C in the coming decades or later (overshoot), then many human and natural systems will face additional severe risks, compared to remaining below 1.5°C (high confidence). Depending on the magnitude and duration of overshoot, some impacts will cause the release of additional greenhouse gases (medium confidence) and some will be irreversible, even if global warming is reduced (high confidence)
 C Adaptation Measures and Enabling Conditions
"Adaptation, in response to current climate change, is reducing climate risks and vulnerability mostly via adjustment of existing systems. Many adaptation options exist and are used to help manage projected climate change impacts, but their implementation depends upon the capacity and effectiveness of governance and decision-making processes. These and other enabling conditions can also support climate-resilient development (Section D)."
- C.1 Progress in adaptation planning and implementation has been observed across all sectors and regions, generating multiple benefits (very high confidence). However, adaptation progress is unevenly distributed with observed adaptation gaps (high confidence). Many initiatives prioritize immediate and near-term climate risk reduction which reduces the opportunity for transformational adaptation (high confidence).
- C.2 There are feasible and effective adaptation options which can reduce risks to people and nature. The feasibility of implementing adaptation options in the near-term differs across sectors and regions (very high confidence). The effectiveness of adaptation to reduce climate risk is documented for specific contexts, sectors and regions (high confidence) and will decrease with increasing warming (high confidence). Integrated, multi-sectoral solutions that address social inequities, differentiate responses based on climate risk and cut across systems, increase the feasibility and effectiveness of adaptation in multiple sectors (high confidence)
- C.3 Soft limits to some human adaptation have been reached, but can be overcome by addressing a range of constraints, primarily financial, governance, institutional and policy constraints (high confidence). Hard limits to adaptation have been reached in some ecosystems (high confidence). With increasing global warming, losses and damages will increase and additional human and natural systems will reach adaptation limits (high confidence).
- C.4 There is increased evidence of maladaptation across many sectors and regions since the AR5. Maladaptive responses to climate change can create lock-ins of vulnerability, exposure and risks that are difficult and expensive to change and exacerbate existing inequalities. Maladaptation can be avoided by flexible, multi-sectoral, inclusive and long-term planning and implementation of adaptation actions with benefits to many sectors and systems. (high confidence)
- C.5 Enabling conditions are key for implementing, accelerating and sustaining adaptation in human systems and ecosystems. These include political commitment and follow-through, institutional frameworks, policies and instruments with clear goals and priorities, enhanced knowledge on impacts and solutions, mobilization of and access to adequate financial resources, monitoring and evaluation, and inclusive governance processes. (high confidence)
"Climate resilient development integrates adaptation measures and their enabling conditions (Section C) with mitigation to advance sustainable development for all. Climate resilient development involves questions of equity and system transitions in land, ocean and ecosystems; urban and infrastructure; energy; industry; and society and includes adaptations for human, ecosystem and planetary health. Pursuing climate resilient development focuses on both where people and ecosystems are co-located as well as the protection and maintenance of ecosystem function at the planetary scale. Pathways for advancing climate resilient development are development trajectories that successfully integrate mitigation and adaptation actions to advance sustainable development. Climate resilient development pathways may be temporarily coincident with any RCP and SSP scenario used throughout AR6, but do not follow any particular scenario in all places and over all time."
- D.1 Evidence of observed impacts, projected risks, levels and trends in vulnerability, and adaptation limits, demonstrate that worldwide climate resilient development action is more urgent than previously assessed in AR5. Comprehensive, effective, and innovative responses can harness synergies and reduce trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation to advance sustainable development. (very high confidence)
- D.2 Climate resilient development is enabled when governments, civil society and the private sector make inclusive development choices that prioritise risk reduction, equity and justice, and when decision-making processes, finance and actions are integrated across governance levels, sectors and timeframes (very high confidence). Climate resilient development is facilitated by international cooperation and by governments at all levels working with communities, civil society, educational bodies, scientific and other institutions, media, investors and businesses; and by developing partnerships with traditionally marginalised groups, including women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, local communities and ethnic minorities (high confidence). These partnerships are most effective when supported by enabling political leadership, institutions, resources, including finance, as well as climate services, information and decision support tools (high confidence).
- D.3 Interactions between changing urban form, exposure and vulnerability can create climate change-induced risks and losses for cities and settlements. However, the global trend of urbanisation also offers a critical opportunity in the near-term, to advance climate resilient development (high confidence). Integrated, inclusive planning and investment in everyday decision-making about urban infrastructure, including social, ecological and grey/physical infrastructures, can significantly increase the adaptive capacity of urban and rural settlements. Equitable outcomes contributes to multiple benefits for health and well-being and ecosystem services, including for Indigenous Peoples, marginalised and vulnerable communities (high confidence). Climate resilient development in urban areas also supports adaptive capacity in more rural places through maintaining peri-urban supply chains of goods and services and financial flows (medium confidence). Coastal cities and settlements play an especially important role in advancing climate resilient development (high confidence).
- D.4 Safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems is fundamental to climate resilient development, in light of the threats climate change poses to them and their roles in adaptation and mitigation (very high confidence). Recent analyses, drawing on a range of lines of evidence, suggest that maintaining the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a global scale depends on effective and equitable conservation of approximately 30% to 50% of Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean areas, including currently near-natural ecosystems (high confidence).
- D.5 It is unequivocal that climate change has already disrupted human and natural systems. Past and current development trends (past emissions, development and climate change) have not advanced global climate resilient development (very high confidence). Societal choices and actions implemented in the next decade determine the extent to which medium and long-term pathways will deliver higher or lower climate resilient development (high confidence). Importantly climate-resilient development prospects are increasingly limited if current greenhouse gas emissions do not rapidly decline, especially if 1.5°C global warming is exceeded in the near-term (high confidence). These prospects are constrained by past development, emissions and climate change, and enabled by inclusive governance, adequate and appropriate human and technological resources, information, capacities and finance (high confidence).
- Climate change 2022: the physical science basis IPCC report
- Climate change 2022: mitigation of climate change IPCC report
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