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Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 365–388 | Cite as

Climate change vulnerability and resilience: current status and trends for Mexico

  • María E. IbarraránEmail author
  • Elizabeth L. Malone
  • Antoinette L. Brenkert
Article

Abstract

Climate change alters different localities on the planet in different ways. The impact on each region depends mainly on the degree of vulnerability that natural ecosystems and human-made infrastructure have to changes in climate and extreme meteorological events, as well as on the coping and adaptation capacity toward new environmental conditions. This study assesses the current resilience of Mexico and Mexican states to such changes, as well as how this resilience will look in the future. In recent studies (Moss et al. in Vulnerability to climate change: a quantitative approach. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington DC, 2001; Brenkert and Malone in Clim Change 72:57–102, 2005; Malone and Brenkert in Clim Change 91:451–476, 2008), the Vulnerability–Resilience Indicators Model (VRIM) is used to integrate a set of proxy variables that determine the resilience of a region to climate change. Resilience, or the ability of a region to respond to climate variations and natural events that result from climate change, is given by its adaptation and coping capacity and its sensitivity. On the one hand, the sensitivity of a region to climate change is assessed, emphasizing its infrastructure, food security, water resources, and the health of the population and regional ecosystems. On the other hand, coping and adaptation capacity is based on the availability of human resources, economic capacity, and environmental capacity. This paper presents two sets of results. First, we show the application of the VRIM to determine state-level resilience for Mexico, building the baseline that reflects the current status. The second part of the paper makes projections of resilience under socioeconomic and climate change and examines the varying sources and consequences of those changes. We used three tools to examine Mexico’s resilience in the face of climate change, i.e., the baseline calculations regarding resilience indices made by the VRIM, the projected short-term rates of socioeconomic change from the Boyd–Ibarrarán computable general equilibrium model, and rates of the IPCC-SRES scenario projections from the integrated assessment MiniCAM model. This allows us to have available change rates for VRIM variables through the end of the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Climate change Mexico Model projections Adaptive capacity Resilience Vulnerability 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • María E. Ibarrarán
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth L. Malone
    • 2
  • Antoinette L. Brenkert
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidad Iberoamericana PueblaPueblaMexico
  2. 2.Joint Global Change Research InstituteCollege ParkUSA

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