How are the impacts of climate change investigated?

Climate impact models are used in order to deduce the impacts of climate change on a particular sector. The climate impact models are based on climate scenarios and on knowledge about the influence of the climate on specific, sector-related indicators.

The impacts of climate change are wide ranging and affect numerous different sectors, including agriculture, forestry and water management, but also health, tourism, energy, spatial planning and many others. Climate impact research often quantifies these impacts with the help of climate impact models. Within these models, known correlations between a socio-economic or ecological system or sector and today’s climate are often extrapolated to predict future conditions.

Climate impact models therefore require two types of input data:

  • climate variables such as temperature, precipitation and radiation and the anticipated changes in these in future based on climate scenarios, and
  • socio-economic, ecological and geographical indicators that are relevant to the sector being investigated.

Both the climate scenarios as well as the correlations between sector-related indicators and climate variables are subject to a certain degree of uncertainty.

Gewässerperle Areuabach

Hydro-CH2018 hydrological scenarios

Effects of climate change on Swiss water bodies

Last modification 18.03.2021

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