Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research, National Central University, 300, Jhongda Rd., Jhongli District, Taoyuan City 32001, Taiwan, ROC; Taiwan Group on Earth Observations, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC. Electronic address: [Email]
Global environments are threatened by intensively natural variation and continuously increased human-made disturbances. Assessment of the global eco-environment vulnerability (global EV or GEV) caused by both natural and human-induced disturbances plays a key role in providing valuable information about ecological and environmental background for designing suitable policy measures to improve and restore environment. We present the first global-scale map of quantified eco-environmental vulnerability by integrating remote sensing, GIS modelling, and global census datasets, employing 16 influential factors across five domains: socioeconomics, land resources, natural hazards, hydrometeorology, and topography. The GEV is classified into six levels, namely very low vulnerability, low vulnerability, medium vulnerability, medium high vulnerability, high vulnerability, and very high vulnerability. At global scale, a small fraction of the globe (10.1%) is strongly (high and very high vulnerability) affected by influential factors. Among continents, the largest fraction of very high vulnerability level is attributed to Asia (74.6%) followed by Africa (19.6%). National-scale analysis shows that China and India are the most vulnerable in Asia and in the world. Our study provides accumulative impacts of manmade and natural disturbances, which are vital for decision makers to set improvement targets on specific areas over local, regional, and global scales, and design and adopt new practices to lessen natural and manmade disturbances on environment, while keeping track of evolution of the other environmental aspects.