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Projecting exposure to extreme climate impact events across six event categories and three spatial scales

Lange Stefan, Volkholz Jan, Geiger Tobias, Zhao Fang, Vega del Valle Iliusi , Veldkamp Ted, Reyer Christopher, Warszawski Lila, Huber Veronika, Jägermeyr Jonas, Schewe Jacob, Bresch David, Büchner Matthias, Chang Jinfeng, Ciais Philippe, Dury Marie, Emanuel Kerry, Folberth Christian, Gerten Dieter, Gosling Simon N., Gryllakis Emmanouil, Hanasaki Naota, Henrot Alexandra-Jane, Hickler, Thomas, Honda Yasushi, Ito Akihiko, Khabarov Nikolay, Koutroulis Aristeidis, Liu Wenfeng, Müller Christoph, Nishina Kazuya, Ostberg Sebastian, Müller Schmied Hannes, Seneviratne Sonia I., Stacke Tobias, Steinkamp Joerg, Thiery Wim, Wada Yoshihide, Willner Sven N., Yang Hong, Yoshikawa Minoru, Yue Chao, Frieler Katja

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Year 2020
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation S. Lange, J. Volkholz, T. Geiger, F. Zhao, I. Vega, T. Veldkamp, C. P. O. Reyer, L. Warszawski, V. Huber, J. Jägermeyr, J. Schewe, D. N. Bresch, M. Büchner, J. Chang, P. Ciais, M. Dury, K. Emanuel, C. Folberth, D. Gerten, S. N. Gosling, M. Grillakis, N. Hanasaki, A. Henrot, T. Hickler, Y. Honda, A. Ito, N. Khabarov, A. Koutroulis, W. Liu, C. Müller, K. Nishina, S. Ostberg, Hannes, S. I. Seneviratne, T. Stacke, J. Steinkamp, W. Thiery, Y. Wada, S. Willner, H. Yang, M. Yoshikawa, C. Yue, and K. Frieler,
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The extent and impact of climate‐related extreme events depend on the underlying meteorological, hydrological, or climatological drivers as well as on human factors such as land use or population density. Here we quantify the pure effect of historical and future climate change on the exposure of land and population to extreme climate impact events using an unprecedentedly large ensemble of harmonized climate impact simulations from the Inter‐Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project phase 2b. Our results indicate that global warming has already more than doubled both the global land area and the global population annually exposed to all six categories of extreme events considered: river floods, tropical cyclones, crop failure, wildfires, droughts, and heatwaves. Global warming of 2°C relative to preindustrial conditions is projected to lead to a more than fivefold increase in cross‐category aggregate exposure globally. Changes in exposure are unevenly distributed, with tropical and subtropical regions facing larger increases than higher latitudes. The largest increases in overall exposure are projected for the population of South Asia.

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