Those who emit the least greenhouse gases will be hit the hardest

April 6, 2011 1 By admin

Life (and climate change) really isn’t fair. The Huffington Post covers some new research that identifies the regions most vulnerable to future climate change. The researchers then compared the global map of climate vulnerability to a global map of carbon dioxide emissions. The countries that have contributed the least to carbon dioxide emissions are will be most affected by the impacts of climate change.

To estimate the impact of climate change on people, scientists from McGill University, Montreal, developed a new metric called Climate Demography Vulnerability Index (CDVI). This takes into account how regional climate will change as well as how much local population is expected to grow. They incorporated this index into a global map and found highly vulnerable regions included central South America, the Middle East and both eastern and southern Africa. Less vulnerable regions were largely in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere.

2011-03-16-Vulnerable_CountriesThe study didn’t delve into the question of which countries are least able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. But it doesn’t take a great leap of the imagination to surmise that the poor, developing countries that emit the least pollution are also those with the least amount of infrastructure to deal with climate impacts. [h/t Bert Maerten]

It’s hard to keep up with the proliferation of mapping work, so if anyone knows of better sources, please say so and send over the links.