THESE are the startling maps which appear to show the countries most at risk of facing an apocalypse of cataclysmic proportions.
The maps, compiled using the ND-Gain Index, a project of the University of Notre Dame in the US, reveal the places around the world facing the biggest threat from the effects of climate change.
Unsurprisingly, poorer nations faired the worst with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Burundi and Chad facing the biggest risk, according to the index.
We can breathe a (small) sigh of relief — our vulnerability and readiness were ranked as good with Australia coming in 6th according to the list with an overall score of 80.1.
But it’s the Scandinavian country of Norway which is the best prepared country for climate change with a score of 82.6.
New Zealand comes in second place followed by Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Iceland.
The index ranks more than 175 countries based on both their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness to adapt to the droughts, superstores and natural disasters that it can cause.
A country’s ND-GAIN index score is composed of a vulnerability sore and a readiness score with factors such as food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat and infrastructure all coming into consideration.
The data, released by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN), ranks countries annually and also keeps track of each nation’s progress since 1995, showing how different nations adapt and prepare for climate change.
According to the University, nations with the best overall score face moderate exposure to climate change but also have the best capacities to deal with any potential climate risks.
This includes access to basic needs such as clean drinking water and electricity.
Such countries are also considered to be better prepared for natural disasters overall.
However, Jessica Hellmann, research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, warned not even the best prepared country remained risk free.
“We also see a need for improvement,” she warned. “Not even the most developed countries are risk-free and completely prepared to deal with climate change.”
Australia has faced international pressure to do more to address climate change in recent months.
The fund will also help developing countries limit their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.