Richa Malhotra, SciDev.Net
March 8, 2013
Data from a climate vulnerability monitor for 184 nations are now available via an interactive online portal, making them more accessible to researchers, academics and policymakers worldwide.
The data are based on the Climate Vulnerability Monitor report, first released at the UN climate conference (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010, and updated in September 2012.
The revised data are now available through a searchable Online Data Portal - launched last month (14 February) - which aims to serve as a reference for less developed countries to help them devise strategies for climate change adaptation.
The monitor is co-published by DARA, a non-profit research organisation based in Spain, and its Climate Vulnerable Forum, a network of countries that are heavily affected by climate change.
The 2010 edition of the report considered four indicators: weather and environmental disasters; health impacts; habitat loss; and economic stress. The revised report takes into account 34 areas of climate-related concern, including fisheries, biodiversity, oil spills, droughts, agriculture, and vector-borne diseases.
"The revised monitor has a new section of analysis labelled 'carbon', focusing on the socio-economic ramifications of pursuing carbon-intensive and climate unsafe activities," Matthew McKinnon, editor of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, tells SciDev.Net.
It draws on peer-reviewed scientific literature and datasets released by the UN, World Bank and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
But it adds value to the existing reports by extracting climate change data individually for 184 countries from published reports, such as IPCC assessment reports, its designers say.
"Our reports have a specific challenge and focus - to assess the impact of the climate change challenge in socio-economic terms with estimates of impact and vulnerability for 184 countries for 2010 and 2030," says McKinnon. "The IPCC has a much broader focus that goes further into the future."
Country-wise analyses for economic costs and mortality resulting from climate change in 2010 and 2030 are available on the data portal.
"The data portal will now provide the public, and all interested parties, with direct access to the full set of statistical information that was published in the Monitor last September," McKinnon explains. "The portal allows download, sorting and interactive screen views of the entire Monitor's data, including world maps and also two-page country profiles."
Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow in the climate change group at the International Institute for Environment and Development, and a member of the monitor's advisory panel, tells SciDev.Net: "We hope that with the online version, more people will access and use the Monitor at a national level. So far, it's been primarily used to inform policy and debate at the global level."