Population and Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 313–337 | Cite as

Mapping vulnerability to climate change-related hazards: children at risk in a US–Mexico border metropolis

  • Timothy W. CollinsEmail author
  • Sara E. Grineski
  • Paula Ford
  • Raed Aldouri
  • María de Lourdes Romo Aguilar
  • Gilberto Velázquez-Angulo
  • Rosa Fitzgerald
  • Duanjun Lu
Original Paper


There are significant human impacts associated with climate change. This paper introduces a model for identifying small area risks associated with children’s vulnerability to climate change-related hazard exposures, which is transferable to other regions and adaptable to varied population and exposure scenarios. The cross-national El Paso-Ciudad Juárez (US-Mexico) metropolis serves as the study area for model implementation, which involves mapping social vulnerability, hazard exposure, and cumulative climate change-related risks. This study addresses two limitations of extant fine-scale climate change vulnerability mapping studies. First, rather than focusing on one exposure variable, it assesses the combined risks of multiple exposures (extreme heat, peak ozone, and floods) and, thus, offers a model for mapping neighborhood-level cumulative climate change exposure risks. Second, it provides a model for small area spatial analyses of climate change vulnerability within low-/middle-income countries and in contexts where climate change risks (and appropriate responses) are cross-national in scope.


Climate change Vulnerability Hazard Risk Children GIS US–Mexico border 



This work is dedicated to the memory of Paula Ford. We acknowledge Bill Hargrove (Center for Environmental Resource Management [CERM] at the University of Texas at El Paso [UTEP]) and Marcelo Korc (Pan-American Health Organization) for helping assemble the research team and supporting this project. Yolanda McDonald and Anthony Jimenez, UTEP Sociology graduate students, assembled the lack of access to care variable for El Paso and provided thoughtful feedback on this manuscript. This project was supported by the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cooperative Agreement EM 83486101-01. The content is the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the CERM, UTEP, SCERP, or US EPA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy W. Collins
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sara E. Grineski
    • 1
  • Paula Ford
    • 2
  • Raed Aldouri
    • 3
  • María de Lourdes Romo Aguilar
    • 4
  • Gilberto Velázquez-Angulo
    • 5
  • Rosa Fitzgerald
    • 6
  • Duanjun Lu
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)El PasoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)El PasoUSA
  3. 3.University College and Regional Geospatial Service CenterUniversity of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)El PasoUSA
  4. 4.Environment and Natural ResourcesEl Colegio de la Frontera NorteCiudad JuárezMexico
  5. 5.Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversidad Autónoma de Ciudad JuárezCiudad JuárezMexico
  6. 6.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)El PasoUSA
  7. 7.Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science and GeoScienceJackson State UniversityJacksonUSA

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