High-End cLimate Impacts and eXtremes (HELIX)

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Impacts and adaptation 4, 6, 2 degrees celsius

At HELIXclimate.eu we are assisting decision-makers in making climate adaptation more manageable by providing a set of credible, coherent, global and regional views of different worlds at 4, 6 and 2 degrees celsius. We are sixteen organisations funded by the EU to work together to explore consequences and responses to two degrees and beyond.


The global carbon budget – the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that can be emitted without exceeding the two degrees warming - could be used up entirely by 2040. Figure is SPM.10 from IPCC WG1 AR5 SPM-20.


What do 4 and 6 degrees celsius climate worlds look like in comparison to a 2 degrees world and what are the consequences and choices for adapting to future climates? Our research focus at HELIXclimate.eu is land and coastal impacts and their consequences for food, water and energy security; flooding, infrastructure, ecosystems, health, migration, and risk of conflict.

We are:

  • Developing global scenarios of the combined natural and human world at 4 degrees celsius warming, with and without society pro-actively undertaking adaptation
  • Developing and analysing global scenarios of the world at 6 degrees celsius by 2100
  • Devising detailed case studies for Europe, northern sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
  • Describing reliable assessments of confidence in the scenarios
  • Ensuring our research addresses the needs of decision-makers


HELIXclimate.eu’s overarching focus is to achieve impact through excellent research and stakeholder engagement.  We are developing a set of eight coherent global scenarios of the natural and human world at 4, 6 and 2 degrees celsius warming achieved at different rates and different pathways of adaptation by society. We have three regions to focus details: Europe, East Africa and the north-East Indian sub-continent. All are supported with a comprehensive analysis of confidence and uncertainty.

Our work is:

  • Stakeholder engagement and public outreach, led by UEA, GB
  • Pathways to Specific Warming Levels, led by Met Office, GB
  • Timeslices and regional downscaling, led by SMHI SE
  • Global biophysical Impacts, led by PIK DE
  • Global socio-economic impacts, led by JRC, EU
  • Regional focus; Europe, led by CNRS, FR
  • Regional focus: Africa, led by WFP, UN
  • Regional Focus, South Asia, led by BUET, BD
  • Risk Management of Tipping Points,  led by UNEXE, GB


Collaborative partners:

University of Exeter, GB
Met Office, GB
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, GB
VU University Amsterdam, NE
Joint Research Centre, EU
World Food Programme, UN
University de Liege, BE
Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, FR
Sveriges Meteorologiska Och Hydrologiska Institut, SE
Potsdam Institute Fuer Klimafolgenforschung, DE
University College London, GB
Technical University of Crete, GR
IGAD Centre for Climate Prediction and Application, KE
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, BD
Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer, IN


Linked research funded by the same EU FP7 theme:

IMPRESSIONS: Led by Dr Paula Harrison, University of Oxford www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/biodiversity/impressions

RISES-AM:  Led by Prof Agustin Sanchez-Arcilla, University of Catalonia


Funded by EU FP7 Cooperation ENV.2013.6.1-3: Impacts of higher end scenarios (global average warming >2 degrees celsius with respect to pre-industrial level)

Contact the co-ordinator:
Professor Richard Betts
Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter
Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre
University of Exeter