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Assessing agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the Nordic countries – an interactive geovisualization approach

Wiréhn, Lotten, Opach, Tomasz, Neset, Tina-Simone
Journal of environmental planning and management 2017 v.60 no.1 pp. 115-134
climate change, Scandinavia, Sweden
Nordic agriculture must adapt to climate change to reduce vulnerability and exploit potential opportunities. Integrated assessments can identify and quantify vulnerability in order to recognize these adaptation needs. This study presents a geographic visualization approach to support the interactive assessment of agricultural vulnerability to climate change. We have identified requirements for increased transparency and reflexivity in vulnerability assessments, arguing that these can be met by geographic visualization. A conceptual framework to support the integration of geographic visualization for vulnerability assessments has been designed and applied for the development of AgroExplore, an interactive tool for assessing agricultural vulnerability to climate change in Sweden. To open up the black box of composite vulnerability indices, AgroExplore enables the user to select, weight, and classify relevant indicators into sub-indices of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. This enables the exploration of underlying indicators and factors determining vulnerability in Nordic agriculture.