Climate: which nations, cities most at risk?

Oct 26, 2011 by Marlowe Hood
A Bangladeshi homeless man sits on the side of a road during a seasonal rainfall in Dhaka in May 2011. A third of humanity, mostly in Africa and South Asia, face the biggest risks from climate change but rich nations in northern Europe will be least exposed, according to a report released Wednesday.

A third of humanity, mostly in Africa and South Asia, face the biggest risks from climate change but rich nations in northern Europe will be least exposed, according to a report released Wednesday.

Bangladesh, India and the (DRC) are among 30 countries with "extreme" exposure to , according to a ranking of 193 nations by Maplecroft, a British firm specialising in risk analysis.

Five Southeast Asian nations -- Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia -- are also in the highest category, partly because of rising seas and increasing severe .

Maplecroft's tool, the Vulnerability Index (CCVI), looks at exposure to such as drought, cyclones, wildfires and storm surges, which translate into , loss of crops and land lost to the sea.

How vulnerable a society is to these events is also measured, along with a country's potential to adapt to future climate change-related hazards.

Of 30 nations identified in the new report as at "extreme" risk from climate change, two-thirds are in Africa and all are developing countries.

Africa is especially exposed to drought, severe flooding and wildfires, the report says.

"Many countries there are particularly vulnerable to even relatively low exposure to ," said Charlie Beldon, co-author of the study.

Weak economies, inadequate healthcare and corrupt governance also leave little margin for absorbing climate impacts.

At the other end of the spectrum, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Estonia top the list of nations deemed to be least at risk.

With the exception of Israel and oil-rich Qatar and Bahrain, the 20 least vulnerable countries are in northern and central Europe.

China and the United States -- the world's No. 1 and No. 2 carbon emitters -- are in the "medium" and "low" risk categories, respectively.

In a parallel analysis of major cities at risk, Maplecroft pointed to Dhaka, Addis Ababa, Manila, Calcutta and the Bangladesh city of Chittagong as being most exposed.

Three other Indian metropolitan areas -- Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi -- were listed as being at "high" risk.

"Vulnerability to climate change has the potential to undermine future development, particularly in India," Beldon observed.

Recent studies -- reviewed in a special report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due out next month -- point to strengthening evidence of links between global warming and extreme weather events.

Record droughts in Australia and Africa, floods in Pakistan and central America, and fires in Russia and the United States may all be fuelled in part by climate change, some experts say.

Current warming trends are on track to boost average global temperatures by 3.0 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, according to some predictions.

Explore further: Land managers to gain tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

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User comments : 19

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hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 26, 2011
All nomadic developing nations have the least to lose.
Ihr seid Euch selbst überlassen.
Doom1974
4.1 / 5 (14) Oct 26, 2011
Where is Omatur to thank for the report and submit his rants?
LVT
1.2 / 5 (17) Oct 26, 2011
Is "Climate Shift" the latest attempt to rebrand the AGW scammers?
Doom1974
4.4 / 5 (14) Oct 26, 2011
@LVT Education is not leprosy..Try some yourself...won't harm
LVT
1.2 / 5 (17) Oct 26, 2011
I have a degree in computing maths. It's how I know AGW is a scam.
Doom1974
4.4 / 5 (14) Oct 26, 2011
Go publish then!! and prove otherwise...Until then zip it.
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (16) Oct 26, 2011
I have a degree in computing maths. It's how I know AGW is a scam.
I don't see how that can be true -- unless it's a scam degree -- as apparently you have failed to master basic logic.
hush1
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 26, 2011
Smile. I did after the above comment.
MarkyMark
5 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2011
I have a degree in computing maths. It's how I know AGW is a scam.

Go on prove that degree then ( i wont hold my breath ), also since when does a degree in computing maths = an expertise in Climatology?
rubberman
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 27, 2011
Does the diploma actually say "Computing Maths" on it? I've never seen that as a required degree for any job posting.....anywhere......ever.
Shootist
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 27, 2011
Every one of these stories brings to mind a picture of a man running with his hair on fire (no, not Richard Pryor).

I have a degree in computing maths. It's how I know AGW is a scam.
I don't see how that can be true -- unless it's a scam degree -- as apparently you have failed to master basic logic.


Don't worry bub, Freeman Dyson doesn't have a Ph.D. but he agrees with you. The polar bears will be fine.

And Dyson is more learned, more intelligent and more educated than anyone who reads, writes or otherwise uses this site. Plus, being the polymath he is; between vetting Feynman and running the Union of Concerned Scientists, Dyson was an actual Climate Scientist.

Shootist
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 27, 2011
The weather modellers statistics are questionable.

They claim accuracy of 3 significant figures. Not Possible, not probable, not even likely. This is *one* of Dyson's complaints of Mann, et. al.
PinkElephant
4.6 / 5 (11) Oct 27, 2011
The weather modellers statistics are questionable.
Which is hardly relevant to CLIMATE modelling.
They claim accuracy of 3 significant figures.
Do they really?
The polar bears will be fine.
I'm sure the polar bears appreciate your vote of confidence, even as they continue to starve and drown in growing numbers. But what about Alaskan (and Siberian) roads and towns -- will they be fine too, or will they keep on sinking into the melting permafrost?
PinkElephant
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 27, 2011
I wonder what Freeman Dyson would think about the political witch hunt launched against a pair of scientists for reporting some sightings of dead (drowned) polar bears:

http://www.npr.or...olygraph

Maybe Freeman Dyson would support the witch hunt, seeing as the reported observations contradict his prediction?
PinkElephant
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 27, 2011
One more thing: is Freeman Dyson (being the polymath that he is) also a specialist on polar bears along with all issues climate-related? What does he have to offer in response to an actual full-time polar bear researcher, who says:
Currently, there are 150 to 160 ice-free days in the Arctic each year. Once that number reaches 170, ... the bear population will decline by up to 40 per cent.
and
It's very clear that populations in the southern regions of the polar bear range are going to disappear ... The best thing we can do is have areas set aside where they can live relatively undisturbed.


http://www.cbc.ca...ion.html
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2011
"I have a degree in computing maths." - LVT

Your high school diploma doesn't hold any weight here.

Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2011
"Maybe Freeman Dyson would support the witch hunt..." - PinkElephant

I doubt it as he appears to be an honorable man, although somewhat confused due to his very great age.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2011
"Does the diploma actually say "Computing Maths" on it?" - Rubberman

When he printed it on his computer it actually said "Fomputing Maffs", initially, but he corrected it on the second try.

He has the printout framed and hanging on his wall just below the picture of him accepting the "Nobels prize of Physimatistics."
LuckyExplorer
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2011
I have a degree in computing maths. It's how I know AGW is a scam.


A degree in computing maths makes you a specialist in several scientific disciplines, climatology, ecology, biology ... what more? - Wow!