Climatic Change

, Volume 148, Issue 1–2, pp 25–43 | Cite as

Climate security assessment of countries

  • Yannis A. Phillis
  • Nektarios Chairetis
  • Evangelos Grigoroudis
  • Fotis D. Kanellos
  • Vassilis S. Kouikoglou


Climate change has repercussions on national security. Yet, no widely accepted definition of climate security exists to date. In this paper, we present a mathematical model that defines and assesses climate security as a function of 37 indicators of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. The model combines the indicators using statistical methods and fuzzy logic which encapsulates the subjective part of the assessment, to derive an overall climate security score from 0 to 1, and then rank 187 countries. A sensitivity analysis points to those indicators with the highest potential to improve climate security and indicates regional priorities for action. It turns out that globally the highest priorities are the economy which is necessary for climate adaptation, population growth which should be contained, political rights, renewable energy use, and sea level rise. Although several results such as the high ranks of Scandinavian countries are intuitive, the model uncovers unexpected facts such as the higher rank of Uruguay than Denmark and Japan or the higher rank of Costa Rica than Italy. However, a closer look at the intermediate results reveals that Uruguay and Costa Rica are far superior to Denmark, Japan, and Italy in the areas of water and energy.



We thank the Emergency Events Database research team (EM-DAT) of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters of Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, for providing data on natural disasters (

Authors’ contribution

Y.A.P. designed the research and developed the methodology; N.C., E.G. and F.D.K developed the components of the model and found the data sets; V.S.K. wrote the algorithms and ran the model; all authors analyzed the results and wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2196_MOESM1_ESM.docx (242 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 241 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yannis A. Phillis
    • 1
  • Nektarios Chairetis
    • 1
  • Evangelos Grigoroudis
    • 1
  • Fotis D. Kanellos
    • 1
  • Vassilis S. Kouikoglou
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of CreteChaniaGreece

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