This collection contains datasets based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports and IPCC Special Reports.
The IPCC SRES emissions scenarios (A1, A2, B1, B2) used population projections from both the United Nations (UN) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Observed Climate Change Impacts database observed responses in physical systems include shrinking glaciers in every continent, melting permafrost, shifts in spring peak river discharge associated with earlier snowmelt, lake and river warming (with effects on thermal stratification, chemistry, and freshwater organisms), and increases in coastal erosion. For terrestrial biological systems, changes documented in the database include shifts in spring events (e.g., earlier leaf unfolding, blooming date, migration, and timing of reproduction), species distributions, and community structure. Database observations also demonstrate changes in marine-ecosystem functioning and productivity, including shifts from cold–adapted to warm-adapted communities, phenological changes and alterations in species interactions. In each category, many of the data series are over 35 years in length.
An evaluation of climate change impact requires the establishment of some baseline period against which changes will be measured. Baseline data are required for the relevant climate variables and also for non-climatic information (for example, carbon dioxide concentration, soil characteristics, population, income levels, etc.). Ideally, these various baseline datasets should all refer to the same time period, whether 1961-90 averages or the 1990 value. We provide here a set of country and regional-level indicators of socioeconomic and resource variables as estimated at the beginning of the 1990s. These data are reproduced from the IPCC report on The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability published in 1998 by Cambridge University Press (Appendix D). These data were collated from a variety of sources such as the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
It is important to understand the nature of the risks from climate change, where natural and human systems are likely to be most vulnerable, and what may be achieved by adaptive responses. A group of researchers conducted a synthetic assessment of the global distribution of vulnerability to climate change. The assessment and mapping of national indices of exposure and sensitivity to climate change was based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports and IPCC Special Reports.