As extreme weather conditions due to climate change can cause deadly flood damages all around the world, a role of the flood vulnerability assessment has become recognized as one of the preemptive measures in nonstructural flood mitigation strategies. Although the flood vulnerability is most commonly assessed by a composite indicator compiled from multidimensional phenomena and multiple conflicting criteria associated with floods, directly or indirectly, it has been often overlooked that the construction frameworks and processes can have a significant influence on the flood vulnerability indicator outcomes. This study has, therefore, compared the flood vulnerability ranking orders for the 54 administrative districts in the Nakdong River Watershed of the Korean Peninsula, ranked from composite indicators by different frameworks and multi-attribute utility functions for combining the three assessment components, such as exposure, sensitivity, and coping, presented in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. The results show that the different aggregation components and utility functions under the same proxy variable system can lead to larger volatility of flood vulnerability rankings than expected. It is concluded that the vulnerability indicator needs to be derived from all three assessment components by a multiplicative utility function for a desirable flood vulnerability assessment to climate change.
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