Short course training: Identification of key questions for the CCE based on V-E exercise

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 17th Mar 2020

Note: The Climate Change Explorer (CCE) has now been superceded by the CSAG Climate Information Portal (CIP). The principles are the same and CIP builds on extensive user feedback from use of the Climate Change Explorer. For more information please see the Using Climate Information initiative. Where the CCE is referenced below, users can use CIP for the same and much extended analyses.


In the exercise on the Vulnerability Exposure Matrix participants in both streams of the workshop worked to identify the major climatic hazards for their case study, and the effect that these hazards have on different livelihoods, natural resources or social groups. In order to think about how climate change might change the frequency or impact of these hazards it is necessary to look at which climatic variables are important for each hazard, so if the hazard is drought, what do we need to look at - is it total rainfall, length of dry spells, days without rain, maximum temperature, timing of rains etc? This is important as we can then use the Climate Change Explorer to examine how these variables might change in the future, and thus how the hazards might change. The point here is not to try to forecast future vulnerability, but to get an idea of how future climate will afect current problems.

The questions asked are listed below, and the participants were then asked to use the Climate Change Explorer to come up with 3-4 key things that they would explore in the hands-on session on the Climate Change Explorer.


In relation to the context and the objectives of the case study you worked on in the morning:

  • What are the biophysical elements of primary importance? (e.g. topography)
  • What are the major social/livelihood/economic activities in your project area that may need to be adapted?
  • What are key factors/hazards affecting the exposure groups (e.g. a community) and/or units (e.g a basin, a water body)? (You listed already key climatic hazards, but can you think about other type of stressors? Economic/social/political?)
  • Are there regional conditions and dynamics that influence vulnerability at the project level?
  • Is climate the most important factor contributing to vulnerability in your area or are others more important?
  • Have the communities observed any changes in climate in the last 20-30 years? If so, how have these changes affected them?
  • Are there documented historical trends associated with climate hazards in the area?
  • Is the nature and location of these hazards changing, and if so, how?
  • Where are the major economic activities vulnerable to the climatic hazards you identified and where are the most vulnerable groups located?
  • What variables (e.g. change in max. temperature, timing of rains) related to the climatic hazards you identified you need to explore in more detail to better understand the direction and magnitude of the hazard?
  • What larger scale process do you need to consider when looking at climate change information? (e.g. ENSO, Intertropical Convergence Zone) and how would these impact the analysis?
  • What analyses are there in the literature, and what do they say about the impacts of climate change in your study site? (GCM, RCM, and downscaled if available).