Climate change, although for many it is only fiction, seems to be very real, and is getting more severe. A couple of years ago, the leaders of 150 nations, together with thousands of representatives from almost 200 countries, met in Paris for the twentieth time to try to work out a master plan and avoid the looming global catastrophe. Scientists have known for decades that the problem in the hands of succeeding generations is serious, but recent reports show that even those warnings more than likely are underestimating the scope of the issue.
Of course, all of us will be affected in some way. How do you think it will affect your country?
The professionals at Eco Experts organized a large infographic based on data from Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index (ND-Gain), an annual ranking of countries that are best equipped to adapt to a warming world. While the maps provide a great extended perspective of what could happen globally as the earth warms up, there is some data to keep in mind.
For starters, the map is based on ratings, not exhaustive country assessments. In other words, it only looks at the country level; All state-specific, region-specific or city-specific data is lost. While the United States is green on that map, specific parts of the country are far less equipped to withstand climate change, including Miami and New York City. For their part, developed countries as a whole have a better infrastructure to adapt to global warming.
If we look closely, we may find that many countries in Africa and Asia have a dangerous combination of high vulnerability and low readiness, according to Eco Experts. The map also shows that Western countries, which are possibly responsible for causing climate change, are less vulnerable and better prepared, making them more likely to survive the major impacts of climate change. These would be Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Iceland.
Other variables were also taken into account, such as the capacity of the authorities to take necessary preventive measures, the quality of infrastructures, technological capabilities, and political stability. In this way, we can see that the Latin American countries with the lowest risk are Uruguay and Chile, in the first instance. This meeting also discussed one of the most relevant issues in terms of global warming and oceans, such as the spread of diseases between animals and humans, and the threat of global food security.
Jon Whiting of The Eco Experts warned: “Hurricanes, earthquakes, snowstorms, droughts, and floods are just some of the dangers facing the most at-risk areas, and this is aggravated by the lack of national strategies to counteract the effects”. Likewise, the Central American nations affected considerably by the effects would be Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, being much worse for the case of Haiti. In South America, Bolivia and Guyana are at great risk, while all others, with the exception of Chile and Uruguay, are at medium-high risk. Mexico, in South America, would remain at that level.
For the Asian and African continents, the effects could be much more devastating, since practically the whole territory, especially in Africa, adopts the intense red color in the map, which denotes the greater risk. However, the mainly affected would be Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Niger, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Guinea-Bissau. Neither Madagascar, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, Malawi or Myanmar are safe. Surprisingly, Australia does quite well on the map, despite being a notoriously hot country.
With climate change described as one of the greatest challenges of our time, the impacts of destructive changes in temperature, rainfall, and agriculture will affect all countries. These findings highlight the need for the richest and most technologically advanced countries to help those less developed. Ultimately, there will be no winner before the effects, as they will all be harmed in some way. How much? It depends on the decisions made by world leaders.
What do you think about these results? Let us know in the comments!