Quantifying transnational climate impact exposure: new perspectives on the global distribution of climate risk

Submitted by Alice Wojcik | published 11th Sep 2019 | last updated 4th Mar 2021
Quantifying transnational climate impact exposure

Photo: Uriel SC, via Unsplash


Indicators used in climate change adaptation planning are largely based on estimates of national or local climate vulnerability. However, classic vulnerability indices do not consider cross-border effects and global interconnections.

The authors attempt to reconcile this need for a broader perspective by developing a global index of exposure to transnational climate impacts.

The index integrates traditional climate vulnerability indicators with spatially-explicit teleconnections between specific countries and constitutes a first approximation of the distribution of such exposure globally.

The results indicate that even though climate risks emerging from within a country’s borders are highly correlated with economic development and geography, the distribution of exposure to transnational climate impacts provides a much more complex picture of global vulnerabilities, which neither geography, nor economic development alone can explain sufficiently.

This highlights the need to take a cross-scale and multidimensional perspective of climate risk. In order to support more robust adaptation planning, risk assessments should consider both transboundary and far-reaching teleconnected interdependencies between countries.

Read the paper here.

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