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GCSE Geography | Impacts of Climate Change (Climate Change 5)

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Last updated 6 Jun 2024

There are many social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change – those that have already happened, and those that are likely to in the future.


  • Coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef could see biodiversity lost, and warmer, more acidic water would cause coral bleaching.
  • Ice retreat could affect penguin species in Antarctica and polar bear and seal populations in the Arctic.
  • Warmer rivers across Asia could affect marine ecosystems - animals would struggle to adapt.
  • Forests may be affected by pests, diseases and forest fires more.
  • Less rainfall could affect food supplies and food webs.


  • In Europe, more heat waves can increase deaths, but deaths related to colder weather may decrease.
  • More incidence of skin cancers and strokes related to the heat.
  • In SE Africa malaria may increase in hot humid regions that remain hotter for longer in the year.


  • Skiing tourist resorts such as in the Alps may close or have shorter seasons as there may be less snow.
  • Sea level rise will affect low-lying countries - tourism dependent places like the Maldives may be underwater.

Food supply

  • Fishing would decline in areas like the Lower Mekong delta (SE Asia), affecting 40 million people, due to reduced water flow and sea level rise changing the quality of the water.
  • Decline in yield of thirsty crops such as rice, wheat and maize.
  • Increased need for irrigation.
  • Increased severe drought risk in Sub-Saharan Africa - leading to crop failure, famine and malnutrition/starvation.
Impacts of Climate Change | AQA GCSE Geography | Climate Change 5

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