Erratic weather patterns challenge both developed and developing countries

Erratic weather paterns-6-27-2012

Erratic weather events around the world continue to increase in cadence including drought, flooding, hurricanes and drought and dry brush, which has caused fires such as in Colorado. The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) offers a tangible solution – the GAIN Index. This navigation tool has been designed to help investors prioritize investment in adaptation, an urgent need for the world’s most vulnerable who are being affected by climate change, urbanization, population growth and other global challenges. 

In the past week, the Republic of Korea, United States and Uganda have all experienced extreme weather, but in very different ways. South Korea is struggling to keep their agricultural fields alive throughout a record-breaking drought – the worst in the country’s history since record keeping began 105 years ago. On the other hand, Tropical Storm Debby hit the southeast United States sending heaving rainfall that submerged towns such as New Port Richey, Fla., under water. Yesterday in Uganda’s Bududa district heavy rainfall triggered landslides that have taken the lives of hundreds of people. 

Unpredictable weather patterns and other forces of nature don’t discriminate between the prepared and the most vulnerable. For example, the Republic of Korea and the United States are both in the Green Quadrant of the Readiness Matrix, representing a condition of high resiliency (low vulnerability and high readiness). On the opposite spectrum is Uganda, which is currently located in the Red Quadrant of the Readiness Matrix, which includes those countries with high vulnerability but a low level of readiness.

According to the GAIN Index:

Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea ranks 40 of 161 countries in the GAIN Index. Data shows its trend is remaining the same. The indicators where Republic of Korea is most negatively affected includes food import dependency (.770), disability adjusted life years (.767) and energy sensitivity (.810).

United States

The U.S. ranks eighth in the GAIN Index, but shows a declining trend as far as resilience to climate change, urbanization, population growth and other global challenges. Its worst score in the Index indicators is disability adjusted life years (.925).

Uganda

Uganda ranks 132 in the GAIN Index, which puts it in the top 20 percent of most vulnerable countries. However, its adaptation trend is showing improvement. Uganda needs the most work in the indicators of food capacity (.992), health workers per capita (.938) and energy access (.910).

With heavy rainfall hitting both Uganda, where hundreds were killed in landslides, and Florida, where livelihoods and economical impacts have taken a toll during Tropical Storm Debby, world leaders must ask if there more that could have been done to adapt to the changes in precipitation and better prepare the three villages that were swept away. The call to investment in adaptation is urgent as the world adapts to arising global challenges. The GAIN Index offers the solution to help prioritize and offer guidance in several indicators that can help direct funding. Visit index.gain.org today and begin implementing adaptation solutions.