Assessing climate change vulnerability in the arctic using geographic information services in spatial data infrastructures

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Timely knowing about climate change impacts is crucial to adequately plan and undertake adaptive measures and thus to effectively lower vulnerability. This requires gathering and integrating geographic information on exposure, local response mechanisms and stakeholders’ concerns. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) are internet-based information systems that facilitate the exchange and use of distributed geographic information. This paper presents the application of SDI to climate change assessment by implementing a generic methodology for the quantification of vulnerability to climate change. The resulting integrated tool allows scientists, stakeholders and decision makers to communicate, assess and improve information about vulnerability to climate change. We show how emerging internet technologies and SDI in particular, make a new interactive approach of assessing vulnerability to climate change possible. Vulnerability was quantified based on an active stakeholder involvement by incorporating their varying perceptions, by allowing them to provide feedback and by supporting the acquisition of stakeholders’ knowledge. However, the application showed that to be effective, efforts to achieve and maintain interoperability between the various scientific disciplines should be kept integrated within mainstream IT developments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-281
Number of pages19
JournalClimatic Change
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2007

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-3085-7457/work/154192767


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Geographic Information System, Adaptive capacity, vulnerability assessment, Spatial Data Infrastructure, Open Geospatial Consortium