Towards an inventory of the impacts of human-induced climate change

Friederike E.L. Otto*, Luke J. Harrington, David Frame, Emily Boyd, Kristian Cedervall Lauta, Michael Wehner, Ben Clarke, Emmanuel Raju, Chad Boda, Mathias Hauser, Rachel A. James, Richard G. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Currently no systematic assessment of loss and damage due to climate change exists. Towards such an inventory we present a transparent way to ascertain the quality of evidence for such assessments.

Current levels of global warming (Haustein et al. 2017) have already intensified heatwaves, droughts and floods, with many recent events exhibiting evidence of being exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change (e.g., Herring et al. 2018, 2016). Recent improvements in understanding demonstrate that half a degree of additional warming will have further severe impacts (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2018). In the context of this rapid and damaging change, there is a clear need to quantify and address both the losses and damages from impacts we have not adapted to today, as well as to adapt to those that will emerge in the next few decades. To do this, it is essential to understand the impacts of man-made climate change on the scales that climate adaptation decisions are made. Drivers of disasters, ultimately responsible for much loss and damage, are unfolding in an ever-changing socio-economic context, which also alters exposure and vulnerability. While various case studies exist (discussed below), there is to date no comprehensive or comparable database quantifying anthropogenic contributions to climate change loss and damage. We suggest that this needs to change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1972-E1979
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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