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Published by: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on Mar 08, 2007
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Vulnerability to abrupt climate change in Europe 
Nigel Arnell, Emma Tompkins,Neil Adger and Kate Delaney November 2005
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchTechnical Report 34
 
 
Vulnerability to abrupt climatechange in Europe
Nigel Arnell
1
, Emma Tompkins
2
, Neil Adger 
2
 and Kate Delaney
1
 
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
1
School of Geography, University of Southampton
2
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Report to ESRC Environment and Human Behaviour ProgrammeProject RES-221-25-0011
Tyndall Centre Technical Report
34
 
November 
2005
 
Contents
Section 1 Overview of project work and outcomes
Abstract 1Objectives 3Results 3Relevance to Tyndall Centre research strategy 3Potential for further work 4Communication highlights 4
Section 2 Technical Report
1. Introduction and aims 52. What is abrupt climate change? 62.1 Abrupt forcings and abrupt impacts 62.2 Rapid and abrupt forcings 62.3 Rapid and abrupt impacts 103. Characterising abrupt climate changes 113.1 Types of abrupt climate change 113.2 Collapse of the thermohaline circulation 113.3 Accelerated climate change 123.4 Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 124. Estimating likelihoods of abrupt climate change 184.1 Introduction: the role of likelihoods 184.2 Estimating likelihoods 184.2.1 Analysis of past records 194.2.2 Computer simulation 194.2.3 By expert judgement 204.3 Assessing likelihoods: results 214.3.1 The approach 214.3.2 Identifying experts 214.3.3 Participation rates 224.3.4 Likelihood of thermohaline circulation collapse 224.3.5 Likelihood of accelerated climate change 234.3.6 Likelihood of rapid sea level rise 245. Impacts of abrupt climate change 245.1 Assessing impacts 245.1.1 Potential approaches 245.1.2 Approach used in the current study 255.2 Water 325.2.1 Water supply and demand 325.2.2 Floods and their management 375.2.3 Navigation 385.3 Energy 385.3.1 Demand for energy 385.3.2 Energy generation 405.3.3 Energy distribution 415.4 Health 415.4.1 Thermal effects on health 41

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