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Mapping agricultural vulnerability of Tamil Nadu, India to climate change: a dynamic approach to take forward the vulnerability assessment methodology

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Vulnerability of a system is determined not only by the severity of climate change that occurs over the system but also by the system’s own sensitivity and adaptive capacity to cope with new change in climatic condition. This study while examining the agricultural vulnerability of Tamil Nadu State in India to climate change, tries to improve upon the vulnerability assessment methodology. It chooses the growth and instability of certain performance indicators to capture the relative vulnerability positioning of the districts of Tamil Nadu. The normalized indicators are assigned weights based on the proportional acreage of major crops in each district with respect to the State. The weighted component indicators are then aggregated into a single index by merely adding them. In addition this study also categorizes the districts beyond ranking to have a meaningful characterization of the different stages of vulnerability. The results thus obtained reveal the fact that all districts in an agro climatic zone does not fall under the same category of vulnerability which exemplifies the need for the State to prioritize research and development issues and effective decision making through “Location-Performance-Vulnerability” based adaptation strategies. In doing so, one must take into account the local community’s understanding of climate change

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Correspondence to R. Jayakumara Varadan.



Table 7 Chronology of district segregation in Tamil Nadu

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Varadan, R.J., Kumar, P. Mapping agricultural vulnerability of Tamil Nadu, India to climate change: a dynamic approach to take forward the vulnerability assessment methodology. Climatic Change 129, 159–181 (2015).

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