Climate change and the role of surveyors

Isaac Boateng

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Climate change has been one of the main causes of the rise and fall of civilisations, migration and destruction of complex societies from the apocalyptic story of Noah’s Ark and the flood, through the ice age to the present time. The development of complex societies and population growth mostly leads to overexploitation of the earth resources to support the complex life styles. In the last century, anthropogenic climate change which is mainly driven by the volume of human emission of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere has resulted in global warming and climate change. According to the IPCC (2013) the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the volume of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased and some of these changes are accelerating and are possibly irreversible at this stage. Climate change therefore poses severe threat to many countries, territories and cultural heritage of humanity on earth in the 21st century. This articles discuses one of the fall out of the effects of climate change (climate refugees) and assesses the role surveyors could play to ameliorate the problem. Climate change is predicted to bring about more frequent and severe disasters, such as droughts, floods, storms, and hurricanes (cyclones and typhoons). IPCC (2007) identified four zones as among the most susceptible to the effects of climate change: low-lying coastal settlements; rain-fed farming regions and those dependent on rivers fed by snow and glacier melt; sub-humid and arid regions; and humid areas in Southeast Asia vulnerable to changes in monsoon patterns. The climatic changes that threaten these zones are: sea level rise, drought, changes in rainfall pattern, flood, glacial melting and extreme weather conditions (Boateng, 2010).
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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