A scrollable map of the countries most likely to survive climate change—and those most likely to be devastated by it.
Last year, researchers at Notre Dame attempted to determine which nations were best equipped to survive climate change—to endure the higher tides, warmer temps, and declining crop yields—and which were poised to falter. Their Global Adaptation Index (GAIN) pegged Norway as the nation most likely to survive, and Chad as the least likely to prosper.
The data was compelling, and helped enable a worthy exercise; imagining the welfare of the world's societies under the yoke of planetary warming. Now, web designer Jon Whitling, has visualized that data—inspired by my piece, he says (infographic-makers of the world take note! the key to any internet journalists' heart is appealing to their sizable egos)—and the results are worth peeking at.
As I noted previously, "the US, Canada, and Australia are big and resource rich—and, importantly, have enough fertile cropland in northern regions to adapt to rising temperatures. For a time, anyway. The worst off are, as usual, the poor countries whose crop yields will fall, water access will decline, and who lack the technology, political economy, and resources to buffer the incoming bouts of extreme weather-filled years." The map makes that clear on a more visceral level. These are the nations most likely to survive climate change, mapped:
I don't usually share infographics—in fact, I'm a little surprised folks are still making them, as I thought the internet's infographic-for-linkback boom was dead—but this one really does offer a useful context for the GAIN data. It's useful to have a map that, at a glance, helps contextualize which regions are headed for trouble. Not that it's complicated—richer, pole-proximal countries are going to fare better, while poor, equator-adjacent nations will suffer.
"We produced this map to highlight that while climate change is caused primarily by rich, technologically advanced countries, it will be the poorest countries that will be hardest hit," Jon Whitling, the map's creator and an employee at the UK-based Eco Experts, told me. "We hope this raises awareness of Africa's and Asia's high vulnerability and low readiness for climate change. Ultimately, we want world leaders to act now to limit the impact climate change will have."