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Compositing climate change vulnerability of a Mediterranean region using spatiotemporally dynamic proxies for ecological and socioeconomic impacts and stabilities
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The study presents a new methodology to quantify spatiotemporal dynamics of climate change vulnerability at a regional scale adopting a new conceptual model of vulnerability as a function of climate change impacts, ecological stability, and socioeconomic stability. Spatiotemporal trends of equally weighted proxy variables for the three vulnerability components were generated to develop a composite climate change vulnerability index (CCVI) for a Mediterranean region of Turkey combining Landsat time series data, digital elevation model (DEM)-derived data, ordinary kriging, and geographical information system. Climate change impact was based on spatiotemporal trends of August land surface temperature (LST) between 1987 and 2016. Ecological stability was based on DEM, slope, aspect, and spatiotemporal trends of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), while socioeconomic stability was quantified as a function of spatiotemporal trends of land cover, population density, per capita gross domestic product, and illiteracy. The zones ranked on the five classes of no-to-extreme vulnerability were identified where highly and moderately vulnerable lands covered 0.02% (12 km2) and 11.8% (6374 km2) of the study region, respectively, mostly occurring in the interior central part. The adoption of this composite CCVI approach is expected to lead to spatiotemporally dynamic policy recommendations towards sustainability and tailor preventive and mitigative measures to locally specific characteristics of coupled ecological–socioeconomic systems.