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Climate Change-induced Water Stress and its Impacts on Natural and Managed Ecosystems


Climate Change-induced Water Stress and its Impacts on Natural and Managed Ecosystems

Impacts of climate change include increasing water scarcity and flood risk, along with decline in water quality. This study explores which ecosystems will be most impacted and analyses how the effects of climate change act as causes of additional emissions, thereby reinforcing global warming in a positive feedback loop. The paper was prepared for the European Parliament by Ecologic jointly with the Institute for European Environmental Policies (IEEP) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

In the study, Ecologic contributed an assessment of potential changes in the water regime and their associated impact on land and soil resources. Furthermore, it provided insight into the interaction between deforestation, climate change and water availability. The analysis encompasses the complex ecological interconnections as well as a description of socio-economic drivers and consequences.

The study also highlights existing policy and management approaches, identifies gaps in the regime and concludes with sector-specific policy recommendations. The project is part of a framework contract with the European Parliament.

The study [pdf, 1.1 MB, English] is available online and is a result of the project "Consultancy for the European Parliament's Environment Committee".


Anderson, Jason; Kathryn Arblaster; Justin Bartley et al. 2008: Climate change-induced water stress and its impacts on natural and managed ecosystems. Europäisches Parlament.

Jason Anderson (IEEP)
Kathryn Arblaster (IEEP)
Justin Bartley (IEEP)
Tamsin Cooper
Marianne Kettunen (IEEP)
Esko Kuusisto (SYKE)
Ahti Lepistö (SYKE)
Maria Holmberg (SYKE)
108 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Climate change and water resources
1.1 Scientific evidence on climate change impacts on water
1.2 Consequences for society
1.3 Adaptation and policy approaches
2 Impacts of changes in water regimes on land and soil,
and their role in climate change adaptation and mitigation
2.1 Expected impacts of climate change-related water stress on natural
2.2 Impacts on Crop and Grazing Land
2.3 Opportunities for Enhancement of Water Regimes and Climate Mitigation Regimes through Land and Soil Management
2.4 Agricultural mitigation measures
2.5 The contribution of the Common Agricultural Policy to the
Climate challenge
3 forests, deforestation and climate change
3.1 Introduction and Background
3.2 Forest Ecosystem Services
3.3 Overview: Global Deforestation and Forest Degradation
3.4 Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation
3.5 Impacts of deforestation
3.6 Policy approaches and Economic Perspectives on combating
deforestation in the future
4 Synthesis, Conclusions and recommendations
5 References
6 Annex: projected impacts of climate change on arable, permanent crop and livestock systems