An integrative climate change vulnerability index for Arctic aviation and marine transportation
Debortoli, N.S., Clark, D.G., Ford, J.D., Sayles, J.S. and Diaconescu, E.P. (2019). An integrative climate change vulnerability index for Arctic aviation and marine transportation. Nature Communications, 10, article number: 2596.
Climate change vulnerability research methods are often divergent, drawing from siloed biophysical risk approaches or social-contextual frameworks, lacking methods for integrative approaches. This substantial gap has been noted by scientists, policymakers and communities, inhibiting decision-makers’ capacity to implement adaptation policies responsive to both physical risks and social sensitivities. Aiming to contribute to the growing literature on integrated vulnerability approaches, we conceptualize and translate new integrative theoretical insights of vulnerability research to a scalable quantitative method. Piloted through a climate change vulnerability index for aviation and marine sectors in the Canadian Arctic, this study demonstrates an avenue of applying vulnerability concepts to assess both biophysical and social components analyzing future changes with linked RCP climate projections. The iterative process we outline is transferable and adaptable across the circumpolar north, as well as other global regions and shows that transportation vulnerability varies across Inuit regions depending on modeled hazards and transportation infrastructures.