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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Fourth Assessment Report
Climate Change 2007
Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

April 2007, Working Group II Contribution

Current knowledge about observed impacts of climate change on the natural and human environment
Observed Impacts Future Impacts
Key impacts
Phenomena and direction of trends
Effects of temperature increases
Changes in physical and biological systems and surface temperature 1970-2004
Current knowledge about future impacts
Fresh water resources
Ecosystems
Food, fibre and forest products
Coastal systems and low-lying areas
Industry, Settlement and Society
Health
Future Impacts on Regions Future Impacts on Regions
Impacts on the regions of the world
Africa
Asia
Australia and New Zealand
Europe
Latin America
North America
Impacts on the regions of the world
Polar Regions
Small Islands
Introduction

This Summary sets out the key policy-relevant findings of the Fourth Assessment of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Assessment is of current scientific understanding of impacts of climate change on natural, managed and human systems, the capacity of these systems to adapt and their vulnerability. It builds upon past IPCC assessments and incorporates new knowledge gained since the Third Assessment.

Statements in this Summary are based on chapters in the Assessment and principal sources are given at the end of each paragraph.

Current knowledge about observed impacts of climate change on the natural and human environment

A full consideration of observed climate change is provided in the IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment. This part of the Summary concerns the relationship between observed climate change and recent observed changes in the natural and human environment.

The statements presented here are based largely on data sets that cover the period since 1970. The number of studies of observed trends in the physical and biological environment and their relationship to regional climate changes has increased greatly since the Third Assessment in 2001. The quality of the data sets has also improved. There is, however, a notable lack of geographic balance in data and literature on observed changes, with marked scarcity in developing countries.

These studies have allowed a broader and more confident assessment of the relationship between observed warming and impacts than was made in the Third Assessment. That Assessment concluded that - here is high confidence that recent regional changes in temperature have had discernible impacts on many physical and biological systems.

From the current Assessment we conclude the following.

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Source: IPCC; UNEP and WMO, 6 April 2007
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