Global Change and Its Implications for Natural Disasters
Global change refers to environmental and societal transformations, including those affecting the Earth system as a whole such as climate change (Field et al., 2012) or ozone hole depletion (Farman et al., 1985), but also more direct impacts of human activities that affect environmental systems worldwide, such as urbanization (see entry “ Urban Environments and Natural Hazards”) and environmental degradation (Verstappen, 2011). Hence, global change includes the dynamic of society and socioeconomic factors (Clark, 1988; Gallopin, 1991) and their interactions with environmental changes (Slaymaker et al., 2009). A disaster is defined by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) as “a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or society, causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources” (ISDR, 2004). The term “natural” can be disputed...
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