Original paper

Climate change and society: possible impacts and prospective developments

Sommer, Bernd; Schad, Miriam

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 24 No. 2 (2015), p. 137 - 145

45 references

published: Apr 13, 2015
published online: Feb 11, 2015
manuscript accepted: Feb 26, 2014
manuscript revision received: Oct 17, 2013
manuscript revision requested: Aug 20, 2013
manuscript received: Jul 31, 2013

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2014/0522

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Based on the climate scenario presented in this special issue of the Meteorologische Zeitschrift, the paper describes potential societal consequences of climatic changes modelled for Germany in the period 2031/50. Firstly, we deal with possibilities and limitations of modelling societal developments, and explain our preference to rely mainly on qualitative data and descriptions. The second part of the paper describes central societal trends in Germany that are likely to form the background for climatic changes over the next three decades. This is followed by an exemplary examination of possible impacts of climatic changes on technology and infrastructure, which can be expected to stress Germany’s current patterns of transport and mobility. The last part of the paper outlines a socially differentiated analysis of climate change impacts, especially the increased probability of extreme heat waves. The analysis shows that, parallel to climate change, societal developments – some mutually reinforcing – will take place, which might increase Germany’s vulnerability to weather-related hazards.


Climate Change ImpactsSocial Dimensions of Climate ChangeGermany