Hot summers, floods, and winters without snow – during the last decade extreme weather events have given rise to worldwide concerns. One can hardly fail to notice that these extreme events indicate potential impacts of climate change in the future. Other consequences, however, which are at least as serious, emerge only gradually. One example are rising sea levels which threaten huge areas and coastal settlements and have serious effects particularly on people in developing countries.
But how do global environmental changes, such as rising sea levels, affect humans and their environments in practice? Regional consequences do not only depend on the environmental conditions in a specific region, but also on the economic and social situation as well as the available options to respond to the new challenges. This means that especially developing countries, which until now have hardly contributed to the anthropogenic climate change, will usually be the most affected by the consequences. A comparison between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, which are both seriously affected by rising sea levels, illustrates this fact.
A case study of climate change. Available in German as well.
Sonja Butzengeiger, Britta Horstmann