Select another Impact Assessment Method
Back to EPS default 2000

Characterisation Method Information
Characterisation Method Name:
CO2 impact on Severe morbidity
Date Completed:
Principal Method Name:
EPS: starvation pathway and malaria pathway
Method Description:
Model 1, starvation pathway

The characterisation factor is determined by an empirical method.

An increased global temperature will move the climate zones towards the poles. In many parts of the world, crop production may follow the moving zones and the net changes be small. In Africa and some other places however, there are no areas that can substitute the present production areas, and a total global decrease of crop production seems likely. In one model study this was estimated to about 5% if no counteracting actions were taken (Krol, 1993). Considering that those parts of the world already suffering from starvation and having a large population growth rate will have the most of the decrease, it is likely that the starvation will be of the same order, 5% of the population, which involves several hundred million people. Assuming that the starvation is predominant only during a part of the year, an estimate of the order of 50 million man-years annually can be made. The number of people today suffering from poverty and malnutrition is about one billion (UN, 1991). A recent study estimated the number of people affected by starvation as a consequence of global warming to 60-350 millions. (Parry, 1994).

Part of the starvation is severe and may be classified as severe suffering, while part of it may probably be classified as morbidity. The understanding of the character of starvation is presently poor in the default valuation method. Therefore, an average value is used in that half of the starvation is assumed to be severe and half of the starvation time equal to morbidity with moderate suffering. Thus as a default it is assumed that there are 25 million person-years per year of severe suffering from starvation and 25 million person-years per year of starvation associated with morbidity.

Thus the characterisation factor for this pathway is:

2.E+09 *1.2E–16 = 3.1E–07 person-years/kg CO2

Model 2, malaria pathway

The characterisation factor is determined by the empirical method.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) working group 2 suggests a potential increase of 50 – 80 millions of malaria cases per year . It was concluded that the figure 30 million cases were more relevant for the scenario used by the EPS default method.
Malaria is a disease, which has some severe fever symptoms during 5-11 hours and which can be latent for 2-60 days before the next fever attack. There are four different types of malaria parasites and a large number of manifestations of malaria illness.
Varying immunity of infected persons and varying drug resistance of the malaria parasite adds to the complexity of its clinical features. No statistics on the severity of the clinical features of malaria has been found. Malaria seems to have its most severe consequences in areas where the reporting of health status is least effective. However it seems as the clinical manifestations can be grouped in chronic and acute morbidity. There are 300 million chronic cases in the world today and about and an incidence of 100 million new cases per year. It seems, as the chronic cases are by far the most severe. It is therefore assumed that severe morbidity occur during 10% of the time for the 30 million extra persons who are expected to be suffering from chronic malaria and morbidity at 90%. The total indicator value in the system considered is thus 0.1*30E+06*100 = 3E+08 person-years.

The characterisation factor for this pathway is

3E+08 *1.2E–16 = 3.8E–8 person-years/kg CO2

Considering both pathways we obtain: 3.15E–7 + 3.8E–8 = 3.53E–7 person-years/kg CO2
Literature Reference:
1. Krol, M., RIVM, Netherlands “Changes in crop yield” due to climate change. Presentation at Conference on Comparative Risk Analysis and Priority Setting, Keystone, Colorado, June 7-11 1993. 2. Parry, Martin. International climate conference at Maastricht, dec 8, 1994, (1994) 3. UNEP 1991 United Nations Environmental Programme, Environmental Data Report 3rd ed. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1991.
Methodological Range:
The impacts are of global character. The modelled system is therefore global. The temporal system borders are 100 years (1990-2090). The society effected is the one described in IPCC scenario IS92A. (IPCC, 1990).

Existing Characterisation Factors of CO2 impact on Severe morbidity
Characterisation Parameter Category Indicator Impact Indication Principle Aspect Substance Quantity Unit Notes
CFactor Severe morbidity EPS/2000
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
CO2 3.53E-07 p yr/kg 2 pathways