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Vulnerability to changes in climate is the "degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change. The term ‘vulnerability’ may therefore refer to the vulnerable system itself, e.g., low-lying islands or coastal cities; the impact to this system, e.g., flooding of coastal cities and agricultural lands or forced migration; or the mechanism causing these impacts, e.g., disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet."

Source: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Section

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