Ranking of Countries and Cities, More Exposure to Climate Shift by Naseem Sheikh SignUp
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Environment Share This Page
Ranking of Countries and Cities,
More Exposure to Climate Shift
by Dr. Naseem Sheikh Bookmark and Share

The earth’s climate has been evolving continuously over millennia but the last two centuries have witnessed the development of the greenhouse problem, which threatens to change climate in an unprecedented manner.

A major new mapping study by, A British firm specializing in risk analysis, Maplecroft's tool, the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), looks at exposure to extreme weather events such as drought, cyclones, wildfires and storm surges, which translate into water stress, loss of crops and land lost to the sea.

Recent studies, reviewed in a special report by UN‘s intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), point to strengthening evidence of linked between global warming and extreme weather event.

They analysing climate change vulnerability down to 25km² [15.625 mile] segments worldwide, has revealed some of the world's fastest growing populations (7billion) are increasingly at risk from the impacts of climate related natural hazards and sea level rise.

Countries Ranking

Maplecroft analyzed risks to 193 countries and territories on a national and sub-national basis, meaning some countries might only score a low or medium risk overall but some regions might be a high risk from storms and flooding, such as Miami in the United States.
At a national level, the CCVI rates 30 countries at 'extreme risk,' with the top 10 comprising of Haiti, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Cambodia, Mozambique, DR Congo, Malawi and the Philippines.

Many of the Asian countries with the fastest population growth are rated as 'extreme risk'. These include the strategically important emerging economies of Bangladesh (2nd), Philippines (10th), Viet Nam (23rd), Indonesia (27th), India (28th) and Thailand (37th).
Haiti is the country most at risk from climate change, while Iceland is the least vulnerable. Africa is especially exposed to drought, severe flooding and wildfires, the report says.
The first 102 nations are all developing ones. Italy is next, at 124, and like Greece ranks relatively highly due to the risk of drought. The UK is at 178 and the country on Earth least vulnerable to climate change, according to Maplecroft, is Iceland. "Large areas of north America and northern Europe are not so exposed to actual climate risk, and are very well placed to deal with it," explains Charlie Beldon, principal analyst at Maplecroft.

City Ranking

The survey looks at the risks facing the 20 fastest growing cities by 2020, many of which are also in countries ranked in the extreme risk category.

"Population growth in these cities combines with poor government effectiveness, corruption, poverty and other socio-economic factors to increase the risks to residents and business," said Maplecroft.

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 - also not out of danger.
High risk is Chennai, Mumbai, Kinshasa, Karachi, Lagos, Luanda, Kabul, Lahore, Delhi and Guangzhou, while Khartoum, Shanghai, Beijing and Cairo are medium risk.

As many as 150 million people in the world's big coastal cities are likely to be at risk from flooding by the 2070s, more than three times as many as now. Miami in Florida will remain the city with the highest value of property and infrastructure assets exposed to coastal flooding caused by storm surge and damage from high winds, the report said.

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.

China (98) and the United States (160) - the world's No. 1 and No. 2 carbon emitters - are in the "medium" and "low" risk categories, respectively.
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.
 
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.

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12-Nov-2011
More by :  Dr. Naseem Sheikh
 
Views: 1302      Comments: 1

Comments on this Article

Comment It seems that the analysis is based on projected risk - which means, the actual impact of climate variations mitigated by adequate setup of infrastructure and its management.

In other words, if there is probability of severe storm in some place but infrastructure and its management is in place then the overall impact of such an storm is reduced - and, I understand that the report has projected this overall impact.

If above is true, then I am doubtful other projections, because apart from climatic severities, it has taken into account the economic situation of the places as well.

But, the economic situation itself is dynamic. It largely depends upon governance and also on other social factors.

We are seeing start of economic crisis in Europe and is feared to get bigger soon. Then, it will be followed by economic crisis in USA.

If the report has adjusted risks due to climate change with current economic conditions, then the rakings provided are improper.

I got this doubt because almost all Europe and North America - in other words, all developed countries are put on low/medium risk zones (giving an impression that rather than geography, it is economic situation that will impact)

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
11/15/2011 06:36 AM




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