REPORT: Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience
Building on the 2012 report, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided, this scientific analysis, Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, examines the likely impacts of present day 2°C and 4°C warming on agricultural production, water resources and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. It finds many significant climate and development impacts are already being felt in some regions, and in some cases multiple threats of increasing extreme heat waves, sea-level rise, more severe storms, droughts and floods are expected to have further severe negative implications for the poorest. Climate-related extreme events could push households below the poverty trap threshold. High temperature extremes appear likely to affect yields of rice, wheat, maize and other important crops, adversely affecting food security. Promoting economic growth and the eradication of poverty and inequality will thus be an increasingly challenging task under future climate change. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the risks already locked in at current levels of 0.8°C warming, but with ambitious global action to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming below 2°C.
Focusing on the risk of climate change on development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and South Asia, this report begins by outlining the global picture, suggesting that the latest research points to a 40% chance of a 4°C rise in temperatures by 2100. The three regions are then analysed in depth, with a regional summary, sector-specific breakdown and likely impacts on ecosystems and humans provided for each.