Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change Using Indicators: Methodological Challenges
Critical scrutiny of prevalent assessment methodologies and development of new ones remain limited since only 10 % of the studies focus on such issues. This is despite the fact that many scholars have raised questions about the methodological aspects of vulnerability assessment.
Among the studies that aggregate indicators and consider both the biophysical and socioeconomic processes generating vulnerability, 59 % use methods based on multiple attribute utility theory (MAUT) such as arithmetic mean, geometric mean, or GIS-based MAUT, approaches that have strict theoretical requirements which are hardly met in the context of CCVA.
Although a number of theoretical papers have argued that indicator-based vulnerability assessment is likely to be most valid at smaller rather than larger geographical scales, only 17 % of studies are conducted at local scale.
We argue that, at this stage of development of vulnerability assessment, methodological concerns ought to receive more attention in the literature, lacking which the scientific validity of assessments will remain doubtful.
KeywordsClimate change Vulnerability assessment Meta-analysis Methodological challenge Indicator
Advanced terrestrial ecosystem analysis and modeling
Climate change vulnerability assessment
Geographic information system
Indicator-based vulnerability assessment
Intergovernmental panel on climate change
Multiple attribute utility theory
Fahim Tonmoy is a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) from the Australian Government. He has also received a top-up scholarship for his Ph.D. studies awarded by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Climate Adaptation Flagship (CAF).
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