Climate change vulnerability in a tropical region based on environmental and socio-economic factors

  • S. Sarun
  • A. Ghermandi
  • A. M. Sheela
  • J. Justus
  • P. Vineetha


The understanding of the regional and local dimensions of vulnerability due to climate change is essential to develop appropriate and targeted adaptation efforts. We assessed the local dimensions of vulnerability in the tropical state of Kerala, India, using a purposely developed vulnerability index, which accounts for both environmental and socio-economic factors. The large extents of coastal wetlands and lagoons and high concentration of mangrove forests make the state environmentally vulnerable. Low human development index, large population of socially deprived groups, which are dependent on the primary sector, and high population density make the state vulnerable from a socio-economic point of view. The present study investigates climate change vulnerability at the district level in the State of Kerala relying on a purposely developed composite vulnerability index that encompasses both socio-economic and environmental factors. The Kerala coast contains the socio-economically and ecologically most vulnerable regions, as demonstrated by a composite vulnerability index.


Climate change Vulnerability Environmental vulnerability index Socio-economic vulnerability index Composite vulnerability index  Map Tropical region 



We acknowledge United Nations Development Programme, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Kerala, Centre for Geo-information Science and Technology, University of Kerala, for the support.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, University College, University of KeralaThiruvananthapuramIndia
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Faculty of ManagementUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Kerala State Pollution Control BoardThiruvananthapuramIndia
  4. 4.St. Xavier’s CollegeThriuvananthapuramIndia
  5. 5.Centre for Geo-information Science and TechnologyUniversity of KeralaThiruvananthapuramIndia

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