Ireland second least vulnerable nation to climate change

Cormocodran

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http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 60001.html

A group of islands with the potential to develop into a tourist paradise has been named as the country least equipped to withstand the effects of climate change.


The Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique and Madagascar, are a small nation of sparkling blue lagoons and picture-postcard beaches. But the country is politically unstable and a report published today says it is the world's most vulnerable country to the future impacts of global warming such as increased storms, rising sea levels and agricultural failure.

At the other end of the scale, Canada is the best place to move to if you want to be a climate change survivor in the decades ahead (although Britain is also a good place to be as a warming atmosphere takes hold).

The best-to-worst rankings are revealed in the first-ever climate change vulnerability index, produced by Maplecroft, a British consultancy which specialises in the mapping of risk. Its study, The Climate Change Risk Report, looks in great detail at global warming risks in 168 countries.

Africa is the most vulnerable region, and eight of the 10 most vulnerable countries are African, with the Comoros Islands followed by Somalia and Burundi in second and third places. Only five non-African countries are in the 20 most vulnerable. They are Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan and Nepal.

As might be expected, developed nations score best. Canada is top, followed by Ireland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The UK is in 12th position, just behind the US. The surprise in the top 20 is Uruguay, which is listed ninth, and the only well-placed nation not to be in the club of countries which are rich, or Western (and usually both).

The originality of the new study is that it does not predict global warming's impacts, from increased droughts to rising sea levels, which has been done for the past two decades by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Instead, it looks at how countries are fitted to meet them. "We're not saying anything about the changing climate," said Andy Thow, one of the report's authors. "We're saying, what's the situation on the ground in terms of vulnerability? If there were an impact, how vulnerable would the country be?"

Vulnerability is examined by the study across six different sectors – the economy; natural resources and ecosystems; poverty, development and health; agriculture; population, settlement and infrastructure; and institutions, governance and social capital. Eventually a figure is arrived at on the scale of one to 10, with one being the most vulnerable, and 10 the most secure. The Comoros score is 1.21; Canada's score is 8.81. (Ireland scores 8.65)

"The simple reason that Comoros is most vulnerable overall is that it scores poorly across all parts of the index," Dr Thow said.

"The combination of all these factors is worse than for any other country. It scores particularly poorly in the agriculture and natural resources and ecosystems components.

This reflects a situation in which pressure on natural resources is extremely high and there is very limited capacity to adapt to the impacts of changes in climate. That capacity is limited by factors such as poor land quality, low crop production and yields and water stress, combined with a growing population.

"Canada, on the other hand, is extremely well equipped to adapt to changes in climate. It scores well across all aspects of the index. This is because of the low pressure on natural resources resulting from a low population density and large land area, combined with high agricultural capacity, a healthy economy, few development and health challenges and excellent public institutions."

But Dr Thow pointed out that while Maplecroft's work showed Canada was well placed to manage the impacts of climate change on people and society, its wildlife was likely to be seriously affected by the expected magnitude of changes to climate in the Arctic region.

The Comoros also scores lowest in the world (jointly with Chad) on the report's index of emissions of carbon dioxide, which means that the country likely to suffer most from global warming has done the least to cause it.

75% Proportion of the world's 20 most vulnerable nations to climate change that can be found in Africa

Interesting report, is Ireland facing a fairly stable future on the Climate Change front?
 


Cormocodran

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moghroth said:
Another one lost. Not the happiest country, although rated very highly. Not the first country to enter a recession, but nearly there. Now not even climate change is going to affect us, we will have damp dull summers forever. Wow! can't wait.
:lol: :lol:

Fair point I suppose, but surely tis better to have Irish summers than Indian monsoons ;) !
 

moghroth

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Cormocodran said:
moghroth said:
Another one lost. Not the happiest country, although rated very highly. Not the first country to enter a recession, but nearly there. Now not even climate change is going to affect us, we will have damp dull summers forever. Wow! can't wait.
:lol: :lol:

Fair point I suppose, but surely tis better to have Irish summers than Indian monsoons ;) !
At times there seems little difference.
 

Seos

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The Earl of Desmond said:
Climate change is a fake - go read the article in June's Prospect magazine
http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/arti ... p?id=10203
I don't have a subscription but in the free part it says:
There is actually nothing in the new result that conflicts with the IPCC's position, which has always acknowledged that the poorly understood natural variability of the climate system will superimpose its imprint on the global warming trend. The new findings are an attempt to forecast short-term, decade-scale temperature changes, rather than the longer-term changes usually considered by climate modellers.
So that article says no such thing, it seems!
 

solair

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All it means is that, like Canada, we're a relatively wealthy country with a low density population and could easily move up a hill with major impact on our lifestyle. A large chunk of our land mass would be gone though.

We won't starve or die of drought as it's going to be warm and wet. Lots of plant growth, just not particularly pleasant weather...
 

returning officer

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Loss of landmass, like Sandymount, Clontarf, Fairview, Sutton and Tolka valley.

An aricle on the least affected is a bit daft, they should have stopped at 50 most affected. Surveys such as this are wrongly used by global warming deniers to do nothing (a long with the classic whataboutery of China and India).

The reason the green agenda is important shoved down the throats of Joe Public is to keep a heightened consciousness. Where need exists, opportunity knocks and enterprise can't be far behind (to take a bad example - the use of biofuels).
 

Pidge

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Interesting to have this kind of work done. I wonder which model they were working off, since they're regularly improved upon.

Anyway, the main affects that climate change will have on Ireland are economic. As a small, open economy, and an island nation, we are heavily tied to the world economy (for want of a less fluffy term). Ireland's interests are damaged seriously by climate change: even if the country was magically isolated from its direct effects, we would suffer serious harms from other countries' suffering.
 

pluralist

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Pidge said:
Interesting to have this kind of work done. I wonder which model they were working off, since they're regularly improved upon.

Anyway, the main affects that climate change will have on Ireland are economic. As a small, open economy, and an island nation, we are heavily tied to the world economy (for want of a less fluffy term). Ireland's interests are damaged seriously by climate change: even if the country was magically isolated from its direct effects, we would suffer serious harms from other countries' suffering.
Surely the most obvious implication is an influx of refugees?
 

riven

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Cannot say. Global warming could stop the gulf stream. We would then have weather like New York (same latitute) ie losts of snow.
 

eyeSpy

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i decided a few years ago to start looking for wooded land on a hill in siberia for me great grand children- no kids of my own yet though.
Canada sounds like a good alternative.
 

locke

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I wonder how they came up with the rankings. I can't see how we could be affected less than a country like Luxembourg, which isn't going to need any sea defence measures and which isn't likely to see a massive difference in its climate either.

At the other end, what of countries like the Maldives who have a maximum height of four metres, but aren't counted in the top 20?
 

Fionn_McCool

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riven said:
Cannot say. Global warming could stop the gulf stream. We would then have weather like New York (same latitute) ie losts of snow.
Errr...

New York's latitude is 40 degrees North (same as Oporto in Portugal) and Dublin is 53 degrees North, same as central Labrador and the south of Hudson Bay (frozen sea for 6 months of the year) !

So if the Gulf Stream packs up we can forget about the nice green fields and get used to tundra !

:roll:
 

riven

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Fionn_McCool said:
riven said:
Cannot say. Global warming could stop the gulf stream. We would then have weather like New York (same latitute) ie losts of snow.
Errr...

New York's latitude is 40 degrees North (same as Oporto in Portugal) and Dublin is 53 degrees North, same as central Labrador and the south of Hudson Bay (frozen sea for 6 months of the year) !

So if the Gulf Stream packs up we can forget about the nice green fields and get used to tundra !

:roll:
Good god I did not think it was that bad! New Murmansk anyone!!
 
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Fionn_McCool said:
riven said:
Cannot say. Global warming could stop the gulf stream. We would then have weather like New York (same latitute) ie losts of snow.
Errr...

New York's latitude is 40 degrees North (same as Oporto in Portugal) and Dublin is 53 degrees North, same as central Labrador and the south of Hudson Bay (frozen sea for 6 months of the year) !

So if the Gulf Stream packs up we can forget about the nice green fields and get used to tundra !

:roll:
Stops Foster and Allen singing about the 4 Green Fields then its hardly a bad idea is it ?
 

solair

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locke said:
I wonder how they came up with the rankings. I can't see how we could be affected less than a country like Luxembourg, which isn't going to need any sea defence measures and which isn't likely to see a massive difference in its climate either.

At the other end, what of countries like the Maldives who have a maximum height of four metres, but aren't counted in the top 20?
No reason why Luxemburg won't flood, being in-land doesn't help. The rivers rise and the land floods.
 


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