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IMPACT2C enhances knowledge, quantifies climate change impacts, with climate and impacts modelling, vulnerabilities, risks and economic costs, responses, within a pan-European sector based analysis.
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Lessons Learnt

Some key results of the analyses undertaken in IMPACT2C for a future +2°C world include:

  • In most regions of Europe, projected surface warming will exceed the global mean 2ºC global warming;
  • Projections of annual mean precipitation change indicate wetter conditions in northern Europe and drier conditions in Southern Europe;
  • A European-wide increase in the frequency of extreme events is expected;
  • Heatwaves are projected to double while extreme precipitation events tend to become more intense;
  • The spatial and sectoral distribution of impacts is complex within Europe with some areas and sectors potentially benefiting, while others may suffer negative impacts;
  • For core summer tourism, areas of Central and Northern Europe may experience an increase in their attractiveness, whereas some areas of the Mediterranean chiefly Spain, Italy, and Greece, may experience warming which sends them over an optimal comfort level for tourism;
  • For winter tourism demand, analysis shows that up to 10 million overnight stays are at risk, with Italy and Austria being most exposed to this impact;
  • In the energy sector, changes in wind energy potential, and solar photovoltaic potential show little to no change in a +2°C world across most parts of Europe. Larger changes are projected for changes in gross hydropower potential, with areas in northern Europe increasing by up to 20%, while areas in Southern Europe may experience reductions of up to 20%;
  • In the health sector, changes in ozone and particulate matter in a two degree world are shown to be small, with air pollution policy exerting a more important effect on changes in these pollutants;
  • Heat mortality in Europe is expected to increase by an average of around 23,000 additional heat related deaths. Countries particularly exposed to these impacts are Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania;
  • In the agriculture sector, there is a projected overall loss in rain-fed crop calorie yield of around 1.6%, with robust negative impacts being concentrated in Western and Southern Europe;
  • In the forestry sector, changes in productivity are projected to increase across Europe by between 10% and 20%;
  • In the water sector, extreme flood magnitudes are projected to increase substantially in parts of Central and Southern Europe, whereas in Northern Europe changes in extreme flood magnitude are projected to decrease. Streamflow droughts on the other hand are projected to become more intense in Southern Europe, whereas in parts of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe streamflow drought may become less intense;
  • In coastal areas, flooding associated with sea level rise are projected to be upwards of 50 million Euro per annum, in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and France;
  • Projections of changes in mean surface temperature for Western and Eastern Africa show that the projected warming is greater than the global mean of +2ºC;
  • Projections of changes in annual precipitation over Western Africa indicate a modest increase, whereas over eastern Africa no clear trend is projected.

Project description

The final agreement of the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún recognized that global warming beyond 2°C above pre-industrial levels will be a major threat to human welfare and to ecosystems, thus deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required. The political discussion demands that decision makers and society are informed by the best available science on projected impacts and possible adaptation measures.

The goal of the European Communities’ FP7 project IMPACT2C (Quantifying Projected Impacts Under 2°C Warming) is to systematically quantify climate impacts, vulnerabilities, risks and economic costs, as well as potential adaptive responses, at pan-European scale.

From the IMPACT2C web-atlas. Sea-levels will continue to rise even if temperatures stabilise at 2°C with the highest flood costs projected for low-lying North Sea nations

IMPACT2C enhances knowledge, quantifies climate change impacts, and adopts a clear and logical structure, with climate and impacts modelling, vulnerabilities, risks and economic costs, as well as potential responses, within a pan-European sector based analysis. The project utilises a range of models within a multi-disciplinary international expert team and assesses effects on water, energy, infrastructure, coasts, tourism, forestry, agriculture, ecosystems services, and health and air quality-climate interactions. IMPACT2C introduces key innovations.

From the IMPACT2C web-atlas. With the present-day crop management, an overall loss of crop calorie yield by about 3.5% is projected to occur under a +2°C global warming

First, harmonised socio-economic assumptions/scenarios will be used, to ensure that both individual and cross-sector assessments are aligned to the 2°C (1.5°C) scenario for both impacts and adaptation, e.g. in relation to land-use pressures between agriculture and forestry.

Second, it has a core theme of uncertainty, and will develop a methodological framework integrating the uncertainties within and across the different sectors, in a consistent way. In so doing, analysis of adaptation responses under uncertainty will be enhanced.

Finally, a cross-sectoral perspective is adopted to complement the sector analysis. A number of case studies will be developed for particularly vulnerable areas, subject to multiple impacts (e.g. the Mediterranean), with the focus being on cross-sectoral interactions (e.g. land use competition) and cross-cutting themes (e.g. cities).

The project also assesses climate change impacts in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions: Bangladesh, Africa (Nile and Niger basins), and the Maldives. IMPACT2C integrates and synthesises project findings suitable for awareness raising and are readily communicable to a wide audience, and relevant for policy negotiations.

The low-lying islands of the Maldives are vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise. Malé, capital city of Maldives, © Wikimedia Commons.

The consortium is coordinated by the German Climate Service Center (GERICS).

The project is assigned to the EU call: ENV.2011.1.1.6-1: Impacts of a global temperature increase up to 2°C from pre-industrial level, in Europe and most vulnerable regions of the world- Grant agreement no: 282746.

Outcomes and impacts

The findings of the project are now available in the interactive IMPACT2C web-atlas, just released: Browse through the information presented in the atlas, which covers a wide-scope of insights into a world at +2°C, for selected case studies also at +3°C.

For more information on the key findings an interview with Dr. Daniela Jacob (Director of GERICS and Coordinator of the IMPACT2C project is uploaded, too:

Additionally a policy brief is now available that summarizes the project’s findings on the Maldives, Bangladesh and the Niger and Upper Blue Nile River Basins in Africa:

Related resources

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