Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) developed the Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment to identify the state’s vulnerabilities to climate change, especially as related to the public health impacts of extreme heat events, air pollution, vector-borne diseases, flooding and drought.
As a part of the assessment, MDH mapped vulnerable populations to each of the climate hazards by county. MDH used geographic information systems (GIS) to display vulnerable populations by county and the occurrence of climate hazards at varying geographic scales across the state. A total of 38 maps were developed describing both the historic occurrence of the climate hazards and the populations most vulnerable to the hazards. For three climate hazards, extreme heat events, air pollution and flooding, MDH created county-level composite vulnerability scores, which combine both the historic occurrence of the climate hazard and the vulnerable populations.
MDH also developed two summary maps that describe counties with the greatest number of the specific climate hazards and counties with the greatest percentages of populations most vulnerable to the climate hazards. The assessment results indicate that the climate hazards have affected every county to varying degrees and that all counties contain vulnerable populations, which may change and grow overtime.
MDH suggests that “State and local government, organizations, and individuals can use the Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment to create a baseline or historic understanding of their communities’ risk, learn more about potential future risks, host discussions about the impacts of climate change, and begin planning for current and future climate changes to protect themselves and their communities.”
Publication Date: October 13, 2014
- Minnesota Department of Health