Determinants of risk: Exposure and vulnerability

Cardona OD, van Aalst MK, Birkmann J, Fordham M, McGregor G, & Mechler R (2012). Determinants of risk: Exposure and vulnerability. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Eds. Field, CB, Barros, V & Stocker, TF, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Many climate change adaptation efforts aim to address the implications of potential changes in the frequency, intensity, and duration of weather and climate events that affect the risk of extreme impacts on human society. That risk is determined not only by the climate and weather events (the hazards) but also by the exposure and vulnerability to these hazards. Therefore, effective adaptation and disaster risk management strategies and practices also depend on a rigorous understanding of the dimensions of exposure and vulnerability, as well as a proper assessment of changes in those dimensions. This chapter aims to provide that understanding and assessment, by further detailing the determinants of risk as presented in Chapter 1.

The first sections of this chapter elucidate the concepts that are needed to define and understand risk, and show that risk originates from a combination of social processes and their interaction with the environment (Sections 2.2 and 2.3), and highlight the role of coping and adaptive capacities (Section 2.4). The following section (2.5) describes the different dimensions of vulnerability and exposure as well as trends therein. Given that exposure and vulnerability are highly context-specific, this section is by definition limited to a general overview (a more quantitative perspective on trends is provided in Chapter 4). A methodological discussion (Section 2.6) of approaches to identify and assess risk provides indications of how the dimensions of exposure and vulnerability can be explored in specific contexts, such as adaptation planning, and the central role of risk perception and risk communication. The chapter concludes with a cross-cutting discussion of risk accumulation and the nature of disasters.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Bibliographic Reference: In: CB Field, V Barros, TF Stocker, et al. (eds); Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK pp.65-108
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:47
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:16

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