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Climate and socio-economic scenarios for global-scale climate change impact assessments: characterising the SRES storylines

Climate and socio-economic scenarios for global-scale climate change impact assessments: characterising the SRES storylines
Climate and socio-economic scenarios for global-scale climate change impact assessments: characterising the SRES storylines
This paper describes the way in which the socio-economic projections in the SRES scenarios were applied in a global-scale assessment of the impacts of climate change on food security, water stresses, coastal flood risk and wetland loss, exposure to malaria risk and terrestrial ecosystems. There are two key issues: (i) downscaling from the world-region level of the original scenarios to the scale of analysis (0.5°×0.5°), and (ii) elaborating the SRES narrative storylines to quantify other indicators affecting the impact of climate change. National estimates of population and GDP were derived by assuming that each country changed at the regional rate, and population was downscaled to the 0.5°×0.5° scale assuming that everywhere in a country changed at the same rate. SRES scenarios for future cropland extent were applied to current baseline data, assuming everywhere within a region changed at the same rate. The narrative storylines were used to construct scenarios of future adaptation to the coastal flood risk and malaria risk. The paper compares the SRES scenarios with other global-scale scenarios, and identifies sources of uncertainty. It concludes by recommending three refinements to the use of the SRES scenarios in global and regional-scale impact assessment: (i) improved disaggregation to finer spatial resolutions, using both “downscaled narrative storylines” and new technical procedures, (ii) explicit consideration of uncertainty in the population, GDP and land cover characterisations of each storyline, and (iii) use of a wider range of future socio-economic scenarios than provided by SRES if the aim of an impact assessment is to estimate the range of possible future impacts.
socio-economic scenarios, SRES, climate change impact assessment, population, land use change
0959-3780
3-20
Arnell, N.W.
196119de-cdf5-4ba8-a5d5-5e5cf4c88085
Livermore, M.J.L.
82fbbbaf-b736-4a2f-bda0-f885048b527f
Kovats, S.
942fe5ca-af05-4cfc-bd44-71b83ca6c6a8
Levy, P.E.
6208e357-0fcb-4960-8a4a-b547612e5bff
Nicholls, R.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Parry, M.L.
ef8d44bc-c57b-41a1-a19f-643d2b1d8225
Gaffin, S.R.
b9886e96-64a6-483a-a2ce-83c163f83a64
Arnell, N.W.
196119de-cdf5-4ba8-a5d5-5e5cf4c88085
Livermore, M.J.L.
82fbbbaf-b736-4a2f-bda0-f885048b527f
Kovats, S.
942fe5ca-af05-4cfc-bd44-71b83ca6c6a8
Levy, P.E.
6208e357-0fcb-4960-8a4a-b547612e5bff
Nicholls, R.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Parry, M.L.
ef8d44bc-c57b-41a1-a19f-643d2b1d8225
Gaffin, S.R.
b9886e96-64a6-483a-a2ce-83c163f83a64

Arnell, N.W., Livermore, M.J.L., Kovats, S., Levy, P.E., Nicholls, R., Parry, M.L. and Gaffin, S.R. (2004) Climate and socio-economic scenarios for global-scale climate change impact assessments: characterising the SRES storylines. Global Environmental Change, 14 (1), 3-20. (doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper describes the way in which the socio-economic projections in the SRES scenarios were applied in a global-scale assessment of the impacts of climate change on food security, water stresses, coastal flood risk and wetland loss, exposure to malaria risk and terrestrial ecosystems. There are two key issues: (i) downscaling from the world-region level of the original scenarios to the scale of analysis (0.5°×0.5°), and (ii) elaborating the SRES narrative storylines to quantify other indicators affecting the impact of climate change. National estimates of population and GDP were derived by assuming that each country changed at the regional rate, and population was downscaled to the 0.5°×0.5° scale assuming that everywhere in a country changed at the same rate. SRES scenarios for future cropland extent were applied to current baseline data, assuming everywhere within a region changed at the same rate. The narrative storylines were used to construct scenarios of future adaptation to the coastal flood risk and malaria risk. The paper compares the SRES scenarios with other global-scale scenarios, and identifies sources of uncertainty. It concludes by recommending three refinements to the use of the SRES scenarios in global and regional-scale impact assessment: (i) improved disaggregation to finer spatial resolutions, using both “downscaled narrative storylines” and new technical procedures, (ii) explicit consideration of uncertainty in the population, GDP and land cover characterisations of each storyline, and (iii) use of a wider range of future socio-economic scenarios than provided by SRES if the aim of an impact assessment is to estimate the range of possible future impacts.

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More information

Published date: April 2004
Keywords: socio-economic scenarios, SRES, climate change impact assessment, population, land use change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 53516
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/53516
ISSN: 0959-3780
PURE UUID: 525d6cc9-8177-4aca-bf99-86aff050a377
ORCID for R. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jul 2008
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:43

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