A framework is presented to quantify observed changes in climate within the contiguous United States through the development and analysis of two indices of climate change, a Climate Extremes Index (CEI) and a U.S. Greenhouse Climate Response Index (GCRI). The CEI is based on an aggregate set of conventional climate extreme indicators, and the GCRI is composed of indicators that measure changes in the climate of the U.S. that have been projected to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
Housing usually represents the highest losses due to natural disasters (Lyons, 2009). In developing countries, despite national governments and humanitarian agencies efforts to carry out plenty of recovery actions, most affected households still receive limited assistance (Suarez et al., 2008). In Vietnam, the government considers housing as one of the four most vulnerable sectors to climate extremes (MONRE, 2008) of which typhoons exhibit the greatest impact to housing in comparison to other climate hazards (Nhu et al., 2011). Recognized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), two of the four most dangerous natural hazards in the South East Asia are floods and typhoons in Vietnam (two others are tornado and flood-tide in East Timor) (IFRC, 2010). Floods and typhoons have frequently occurred in Philippines and Indonesia, but risk levels in these two countries are medium whereas higher levels of risk exist in Vietnam (IFRC, 2010) due to low levels of preparedness of Vietnamese vulnerable communities. In Vietnam, there has been a significant escalation in number of strong typhoons in recent years which makes it difficult to forecast their frequencies, their severity and their direction (MONRE, 2008). An estimated 80-90% of Vietnam’s population is significantly affected by this kind of disaster (Vietnam-Government, 2007) where Central Vietnam is considered the most disaster-prone region of the country (Phong and Tinh, 2010).