INFORM Climate Change Risk Index Methodology
INFORM Climate Change is essentially a future projection of the INFORM Risk Index – a composite index that measures the risk of humanitarian crises that could require international assistance. The analytical framework is a slightly adapted INFORM Risk Index model that allows comparison with future hazard projections.The scale from 0-10 and classification of risk from very low to very high remains the same.
Calculating future risk
INFORM Climate Change incorporates climate and socioeconomic projections into the methodology of the INFORM Risk Index. Specifically, it uses a combination of:
- Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) describing the evolution of future atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and other radiative forcings
- Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) that portray how socioeconomic factors may change over the next century
Together, these scenarios are used to project the Hazard and Exposure dimension of the INFORM Risk Index into the future, taking into account changes to climate-related hazards (river flood, coastal flood, drought and epidemics) and the distribution of exposed populations. The epidemics component comprises malaria and dengue. The population projections derived from SSPs are also applied to non-climate natural hazards (earthquake, tsunami) and non-modelled hazards (tropical cyclone wind). Tropical cyclone wind has not been included because changes cannot be modelled with sufficient geographic accuracy. Population and other socioeconomic projections are used to project conflict hazard.
The projections are applied at different timeframes (2022, 2050, 2080) to calculate the Change in risk and the Vulnerability gap – the level of vulnerability reduction or coping capacity increase required for a country to preserve its current level of risk.
It uses a large suite of five plausible scenario combinations namely RCP4.5-SSP1, RCP4.5-SSP2, RCP8.5-SSP2, RCP8.5-SSP3 and RCP8.5-SSP5 suggested by climate change community. In addition, two “constant population” scenarios are considered where the exposure has been calculated using only RCPs with the population estimates fixed at 2015 values. In this case, the non-climate natural hazards (earthquake, tsunami) and non-modelled hazards (tropical cyclone wind) will keep the baseline values in all future scenarios.