Potential Impact

In this step, users combine their information on exposure with their understanding of the sensitivity of the country’s priority sectors to rate the potential impact from climate and geophysical hazards.
Users rate potential impacts from hazards for each priority sector because the impacts vary by sector. A small increase in temperature, for example, may exceed the tolerable range for certain crops in the country and result in a high potential impact for the agricultural sector but a low potential impact for the finance sector.
Time-frames: Users rate impacts separately for the Historical/Current and Future time-frames, because the level of potential impact on a sector’s physical assets, resources and systems may change as exposure changes over time. It is important to first evaluate historical trends and current baselines to understand the conditions and trends under which the priority sectors are currently operating. For example, the country’s transport assets may not have been damaged by flooding in the recent past, making potential impact in the Historical/Current time-frame low. But a significant increase in flooding over time could raise the potential impact on this sector if the county’s roads, rails and airport runways are not designed to withstand more frequent or more severe flooding.
Combining ratings across hazards: After rating potential impact on each priority sector by hazard, users combine the ratings across all hazards to arrive at a potential impact rating for each priority sector and time-frame. The ratings are aggregated based on the user’s knowledge of the country and other expert judgment. This provides a more integrated picture of the combined potential impact on a sector. Users may also be able to quickly identify the key hazards that drive potential impacts for each sector and weight them in selecting an overall sector rating.
The rating scale for potential impact looks like this:
Insufficient UnderstandingNo Potential ImpactLow Potential ImpactModerate Potential ImpactHigh Potential Impact
Sensitivity considerations: In selecting these ratings, users overlay sensitivity considerations with the previous hazard exposure ratings to assess potential impact. For this reason, the potential impact ratings may or may not align with the exposure ratings. For example, the potential impact of drought on the agriculture sector might be low, even if crops grown throughout the country are highly exposed to drought, because the dominant crops are drought-tolerant biomass crops. These ratings therefore require subject matter expertise and contextual understanding. The Resource Annex provides a list of resources on the potential impacts of climate hazards on sectors at the national level.