Future Global Warming Impacts, by Region

Based on findings in the 2007 IPCC Working Group II Report


Future Climate Impacts by Region


This summary of potential impacts of climate change is based on a region-by-region analysis published in 2007 by IPCC Working Group II. A more complete description of these and other regional impacts can be found in the group's April 6, 2007, Summary for Policymakers, available on the main IPCC Web page.

The IPCC has assigned "high confidence" to the projected impacts described below, unless otherwise stated. It is important to note that some impacts are due to climate change intersecting with other stressors, such as population growth, political and socioeconomic conditions, and the like, as described in the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers.

Africaworld map with Africa highlighted

  • Increased water stress for 75–250 million people by 2020
  • Loss of arable land, reduced growing seasons, and reduced yields in some areas
  • Threats to low-lying coastal areas posed by sea-level rise
  • Further degradation of mangroves and coral reefs
  • Decreased fish stocks in large lakes


Asiaworld map with Asia highlighted

  • Increases in flooding, rock avalanches, and water resource disruption due to glacial melt from Himalayas (medium confidence)
  • Increased flooding of coastal areas in southern and eastern Asia
  • Ongoing risk of hunger due to regional variations in crop productivity, combined with rapid population growth and urbanization, in several developing countries (medium confidence)
  • Development challenges due to the mix of climate change impacts, growing economies and populations, and rural-to-urban migration


Australia and New Zealandworld map with Australia and New Zealand highlighted

  • Intensified water security problems in southern and eastern Australia and parts of New Zealand, by 2030
  • Further loss of biodiversity in ecologically rich sites, by 2020 (very high confidence)
  • Increased risk from sea-level rise, more-severe and more-frequent storms, and coastal flooding in the Cairns region and southeast Queensland (Australia), Northland to Bay of Plenty (New Zealand), and other coastal communities with ongoing development and population growth, by 2050 (very high confidence)
  • Some initial benefits in western and southern New Zealand, such as longer growing seasons, less frost, and increased rainfall
  • Decreased yields from agriculture and forestry by 2030, due to increased drought and fire, in much of southern and eastern Australia and parts of eastern New Zealand


Euworld map with Europe highlightedrope

  • Increased risk of inland flash floods (very high confidence)
  • More frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion due to storms and sea-level rise (very high confidence)
  • South: More health-threatening heat waves and wildfires, reduced water availability and hydropower potential, endangered crop production, reduced summer tourism
  • Central and East: More health-threatening heat waves, reduced summer rainfall, reduced forest productivity, more peatland fires
  • North: Initial mixed effects, including benefits such as reduced heating demand, increased crop yields, and increased forest growth; as climate change continues, negative impacts likely to outweigh benefits


Latin Americaworld map with Latin America highlighted

  • Gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazonia, due to higher temperatures and reduced soil moisture
  • Replacement of semi-arid vegetation by arid-land vegetation
  • Species extinctions in many tropical areas
  • Loss of arable land in drier areas due to increased salinity and desertification
  • Decreased yields of some important crops
  • Reduced livestock productivity
  • Increased soybean yields in temperate zones
  • Increased risk of flooding in low-lying areas, due to sea-level rise
  • Adverse effects on coral reefs
  • Shifts in the location of southeast Pacific fish stocks
  • Stress on water availability due to precipitation changes and disappearing glaciers


North Americaworld map with North America highlighted

  • Western mountains: decreased snowpack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows (very high confidence)
  • Increasing impacts on forests due to pests, diseases, and fire, with an extended period of high fire risk and large increases in area burned (very high confidence)
  • In early decades of the century, during moderate climate change, 5–20% increase in total agriculatural yields, with important regional variations; major challenges for crops with limited access to water or those near the warm end of their suitable range
  • Increased intensity, duration, and number of heat waves in cities historically prone to them; the elderly, whose proportion of the U.S. population is increasing, are most at risk (very high confidence)
  • Coastal areas: increased stress on people and property, due to climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution (very high confidence)


Polar regionsworld map with polar regions highlighted

  • Thinning and reduced extent of glaciers and ice sheets
  • Deeper seasonal thawing of permafrost
  • Detrimental effects on migratory birds, mammals, higher predators, and other species, due to changes in natural ecosystems
  • Changes in the extent of Arctic sea ice and permafrost
  • Negative impacts on Arctic society: infrastructure (such as roads, buildings and utility lines) and traditional ways of life
  • Positive impacts on Arctic society: reduced heating costs and more navigable sea routes (medium confidence)


Small island nations, states, and territoriesworld map with small island nations/territories highlighted

  • Threats to vital infrastructure, settlements, and facilities due to sea-level rise (very high confidence)
  • Reduced water resources on many small islands by mid-century, jeopardizing access to fresh water during dry periods (very high confidence)
  • Fisheries impacts and reduced tourism value, due to beach erosion, coral bleaching, and other deteriorating coastal conditions (very high confidence)
  • Invasion by non-native species with higher temperatures, especially on middle and high-latitude islands.


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