Calcutta leads world city list most at risk from climate change
A major new mapping study, analysing climate change vulnerability down to 25kmÂ² worldwide, has revealed some of the world's fastest growing populations are increasingly at risk from the impacts of climate related natural hazards and sea level rise.
Many of the countries with the fastest population growth are rated as 'extreme risk' in the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) released by risk analysis and mapping firm Maplecroft. These include the strategically important emerging economies of Bangladesh (2nd), Philippines (10th), Viet Nam (23rd), Indonesia (27th) and India (28th).
The CCVI forms part of Maplecroft's fourth annual Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas. It features subnational maps and analysis of climate change vulnerability and the adaptive capacity to combat climate change in 193 countries.
It analyses the exposure of populations to climate related natural hazards and sensitivity of countries in terms of population concentration, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflict.
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.
The value of Maplecroft's research is much better appreciated at a subnational level, where risks to towns, cities, economic zones and individual company assets can be identified through interactive maps, which chart vulnerability, exposure and sensitivity to climate change down to 25kmÂ² worldwide. For instance, extreme hotpots of vulnerability can be seen in the South West of Brazil and coastal regions of China, but both countries are rated 'medium risk' by the CCVI the national level.
Vulnerability on this scale is illustrated particularly well when looking at the effects of climate change on the megacities of Asia; some of which have the highest rates of population growth, along with extreme vulnerability to climate change.
Image credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica