Global Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts [WP5]


We are providing a set of consistent socioeconomic runs for the 4, 6, 2°C Specific Warming Levels, taking into account the recent Shared Socio-ecosystem Pathways (SSPs) of the Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium (IAMC). The Shared Socio-ecosystem pathways have a set of five narratives regarding possible futures of the socioeconomic system, depending both on the socioeconomic challenges for adaptation and mitigation. The SSPs are related to the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and the narrative logic behind each SSP will be considered to derive the socioeconomic runs for the HELIX project selected runs.

4°C Assessment
We will undertake a preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of 4°C global warming, using the existing ISI-MIP dataset on climate impacts on river flows, water availability, crop productivity, ecosystem functioning, and coastal flooding. This initial work will allow methodologies to be tested, and initial results to be communicated to stakeholders for discussion. Later, HELIX’s new climate scenarios and biophysical impacts projections at high-resolution are allowing for a better assessment of the socio-economic impacts of changes in climate extremes. These results, from a model called GEM-E3, will be compared with those of a second model FUND. Modelled impacts here include agriculture, forestry, sea level rise, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, influenced by cold and heat stress, malaria, dengue fever, schistosomiasis, diarrhoea, energy consumption, water resources, unmanaged ecosystems and tropical and extratropical storm impacts.

Impacts on Energy
We will assess the socio-economic impact of 4, 6 and 2°C on the production of energy and energy demand, such as more generation of electricity for cooling in a warmer climate and less generation of electricity needed for heating, or less water available for generating hydro-electricity. We also assess the effects of 4, 6, 2°C on global transport, such as risk to transport infrastructure and to sea-ports. Tipping Points might have an impact on the opening of the Arctic sea-route, creating new shorted channels for global shipping, for example.

Impacts on Health
Impacts on human health will be modelled and analysed with FUND. FUND distinguishes seven different health impacts differentiated by age group, region, and development status. The model computes the number of premature deaths and the number of disability-adjusted life years lost (morbidity). The biophysical impacts of WP4 will be integrated with these impacts on human health, transport and energy into GEM-E3 and FUND to produce a global assessment of climate impacts.

Regional Impacts
The model results will be inter-compared at several levels, from specific sectors up to the global economy. These global-scale impacts will be compared with the equivalent regional-scale assessments from the regional focuses. We include comparison of impacts on the energy sector in Europe based on regional climate modelling with the global assessment from TIAM-UCL, food vulnerability in Africa, and impacts of flooding and water stress in S.Asia.

Impacts on Migration and Human Security
Current estimates and forecasts of future migration are generally considered as unreliable and so the HELIX model will depart from the common deterministic perspective and integrate a range of different policy options in order to yield realistic migration possibilities for a range of different climate scenarios. A review of possible policy responses to such migration patterns will also be conducted through policy dialogues with local stakeholders.

  1. Perform a comprehensive global-scale socio-economic assessment of climate impacts of 2°C, 4°C and 6°C global warming scenarios, considering adaptation and mitigation options, and the level of confidence in the simulated projections and socio-economic impacts related to key sectors such as food, energy, water, infrastructure and ecosystems
  2. Check for consistency between socio-economic impacts of the climate projections and the socio-economic factors that influence the driving emissions scenarios (in collaboration with WP2)