The Climate Vulnerability Monitor takes
a new approach to assessing the climate vulnerability of the world and
its regions, countries and communities. The Monitor looks at pre-existing
characteristics of society that are knowingly affected by climate change
and maps the level of vulnerability and expected impacts as implied by
the effect that real or projected changes in the climate will have on these.
The Monitor uses globally comparable information in order to establish
reference points across countries. The Monitor's analysis is built around
four distinct climate impact areas, five levels -- called factors -- of
vulnerability to climate change, and two points in time, 2010 and 2030.
The impact areas were chosen because they represent most of (but not all)
the main impacts of climate change and form distinctive types of responses
in each area -- although some measures to reduce impacts or vulnerability
could have beneficial effects across several or all impact areas. The vulnerability
factors are determined statistically and indicate how different an effect
is expected to be from a baseline of zero impact due to climate change.
The factors remain static from 2010 to 2030 demonstrating how vulnerability
would evolve under climate changes expected over the next 20 years if measures
are not taken to reduce vulnerabilities. Climate change is never linked
to any specific event, but considered an added stress, effect, or change
that carries consequences we consider positive or negative. The estimative
figures of impacts mentioned in this report are yielded from the Monitor's
specific methodology and represent additional impacts due to climate change.
They are a plausible snapshot of what is expected to already be taking
place and what might eventuate in the near future. Wherever possible leading
expertise and scientific modelling has
been relied upon (see "Climate Vulnerability
Monitor Architecture", p.54). Still, there are gaps in the base data the
tool relies on as well as gaps in several research areas that restrict
our full understanding of the effects of climate change. The Monitor represents
just one possible way of measuring climate vulnerability that we expect
can be greatly and continually improved upon.