Climate Risk Country Profile - China



  • The projected temperature increase in China due to climate change is expected to be above the global average. The highest emission pathway (RCP8.5) projects an increase of average temperatures in China to rise by 2.5°C by the 2050s and 5.2°C by the 2090s; more significant temperature increases are expected in northern and western regions.

  • Increases in annual maximum and minimum temperatures are projected to be larger than the increase in average temperature, increasing the potential health, livelihood, and ecosystem risks of global warming.

  • The impacts of hazards and sustained changes will not be equally distributed, they will likely be experienced most strongly by marginalized and asset-poor communities.

  • Increased heat stress, compounded by the urban heat island effect, represents a major threat to human health, productivity levels, and energy demand in many of China’s megacities.

  • Hazards such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves are all expected to increase in probability, and increased loss and damage will be difficult to avoid without significant adaptation efforts.

  • There is a very significant threat to biodiversity and natural resources, without careful planning, adaptation efforts may only exacerbate this threat and the challenges faced by communities most dependent on natural resources.

  • Support for adaptation will be needed by many groups, particularly smallholder farmers who face potential yield losses and species range shifts.

  • China’s large population of vulnerable and undernourished people will experience increased pressure from climate drivers, particularly in coastal urban conurbations, in regions facing dryland expansion, and where livelihoods depend on outdoor manual labor.


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