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Your Environment. Your Health.

An index of Brazil's vulnerability to expected increases in natural flash flooding and landslide disasters in the context of climate change

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

Author(s):   Debortoli NS, Camarinha PIM, Marengo JA, Rodrigues RR
Year:   2017
Journal:   Natural Hazards. 86 (2): 557-582



There is observational evidence that hydrometeorological extremes, such as heavy rainfall events, have become more frequent and intense in the last decades around the world. In Brazil, intense rainfall events that triggered flash floods and landslides were responsible for 74% of the deaths related to natural disasters in the 1991-2010 period. To evaluate Brazil's hot spots of vulnerability to these disasters, two indices were developed using three data sets: (1) climate, with IPCC climate extreme indices; (2) environmental, including land use, drainage systems, relief, slope, road density and hydrography; and (3) socioeconomic, including the Gini coefficient, Human Development Index, housing conditions and a poverty-related index. Simulations at high resolution were carried out using the Eta 20-km regional climate model nested within two global climate models: HadGEM2 ES and MIROC 5 IPCC AR5 models. For the baseline period of 1961-1990, the vulnerability indices were adjusted by means of an iterative process and were validated by comparing them to the Brazilian National Disasters Data. The two indices were also used to estimate the vulnerability up to the end of the twenty-first century, using the representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 from the IPCC AR5 RCP scenarios. The results indicate a large increase in Brazil's vulnerability to landslides and flash floods in the context of climate change.

Resource Description

  • Exposure : What is this?

    weather or climate related pathway by which climate change affects health

    Extreme Weather-Related Event/ Weather-Related Disaster, Precipitation
  • Extreme Weather-Related Event/ Weather-Related Disaster: Flood, Landslide
  • Geographic Location: What is this?

    resource focuses on specific location

    Non-United States
  • Non-United States: Central and South America
  • Health Impact: What is this?

    specification of health effect or disease related to climate change exposure

  • Model/Methodology: What is this?

    type of model used or methodology development is a focus of resource

    Exposure Change Prediction
  • Model Timescale: What is this?

    how far into the future results of a model/analysis are projected

    Long-Term (>10 years)
  • Resource Type: What is this?

    format or standard characteristic of resource

    Research Article
  • Special Topics: What is this?

    related topics that intersect with those captured in other filters

    Adaptation, Sociodemographic Vulnerability, Vulnerable Population
  • Adaptation: Vulnerability Assessment
  • Vulnerable Population: Low Socioeconomic Status
  • Climate Change and Socioeconomic Scenarios: Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)
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