Climate Change: Why the Tropical Poor Will Suffer Most http://t.co/CyH6drXssq— MIT Tech Review (@techreview) June 19, 2015
In its annual Climate Change Vulnerability Index, the U.K.-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft lists the top 32 countries at “extreme risk” from climate change. The top 10 are all tropical countries: Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Nigeria, Chad, Haiti, Ethiopia, the Philippines, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea. Of these, all but Nigeria and the Philippines are on the UN’s list of the world’s 48 poorest countries.
The reasons that the poor living at low latitudes will bear the heaviest burdens of climate change are meteorologically, economically, and geopolitically complex, but they all arise from an inescapable statistical fact: normal temperature ranges in the tropics fall within a narrower range than those in more northern climes, and so any deviation is likely to have more significant effects.
“Summers in much of the tropics are already becoming systematically hotter than they used to be, affecting food supplies and contributing to heatstroke and death like we saw in India just this year,” says Susan Solomon, a professor of climate science at MIT...