“Identifying Hot Spots of Security Vulnerability Associated with Climate Change in Africa” | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Article, Refereed Journal

“Identifying Hot Spots of Security Vulnerability Associated with Climate Change in Africa”

Climatic Change 124.4 (2014): 717-731.

pGiven its high dependence on rainfed agriculture and its comparatively low adaptive capacity, Africa is frequently invoked as especially vulnerable to climate change. Within Africa, there is likely to be considerable variation in vulnerability to climate change both between and within countries. This paper seeks to advance the agenda of identifying the hot spots of what we term ldquo;climate securityrdquo; vulnerability, areas where the confluence of vulnerabilities could put large numbers of people at risk of death from climate-related hazards. This article blends the expertise of social scientists and climate scientists. It builds on a model of composite vulnerability that incorporates four ldquo;basketsrdquo; or processes that are thought to contribute to vulnerability including: (1) physical exposure, (2) population density, (3) household and community resilience, and (4) governance and political violence. Whereas previous iterations of the model relied on historical physical exposure data of natural hazards, this paper uses results from regional model simulations of African climate in the late 20th century and mid-21st century to develop measures of extreme weather eventsmdash;dry days, heat wave events, and heavy rainfall daysmdash;coupled with an indicator of low-lying coastal elevation. For the late 20th century, this mapping process reveals the most vulnerable areas are concentrated in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, with pockets in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone. The mid 21st century projection shows more extensive vulnerability throughout the Sahel, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, northern Nigeria, Niger, and across Sudan./p

Research Topic: 
Climate Change