Climate change is, self-evidently, a global phenomenon. From the most populous cities to the loneliest, isolated islets, everyone, everywhere will be affected in some way by climate change.
Not everyone’s circumstances are equal, though, and climate change resilience varies widely from place to place. So are there places on this pale, blue, warming dot of ours that will be threatened and affected by climate change the least? Is anywhere on Earth, within reason, relatively protected from the ravages of climate change?
The crux of the matter is that climate change isn’t just a ubiquitous problem, it’s also deeply complex. Looking for respite from climate change is a somewhat difficult task. It’s easier to rule out countries that will be the most threatened by the phenomenon, but as Prof Lindsay Stringer, an expert in the environment and development and member of the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, emphasized in an interview with IFLScience: “Ultimately, everyone is affected.” You can’t escape climate change if your feet are on the ground.”
The following video shows Temperature anomalies arranged by country 1900 – 2016. Visualization based on GISTEMP data. Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/150411108@N06/35471910724/
Hurricanes are almost certainly becoming stronger; droughts are becoming more frequent and intense; heatwaves, particularly in already warm regions, are going to get precipitously more potent; cities on shorelines all over the world will continue to face an increasing risk of suffering from major flooding. Small islands, low-lying areas, and skinny nations with coasts are all in trouble.
In short, any nation already experiencing such extremes will be at an increased risk in the future. From the US to Tuvalu, no country on Earth will be completely safe.
Infrastructural damage due to climate change-amplified natural disasters is reaching record highs, and research indicates that higher-than-optimum temperatures reduce workforce output and efficiency – something that’ll directly impact countries’ GDP values. On top of that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate-linked health impacts will cost the world economy up to $4 billion a year by 2030.
Countries that are heavily reliant on their agricultural industries could suffer as precipitation patterns change. The world’s oceans, for which billions rely on to provide them with food and wages, are also suffering from unprecedented warming, acidification, and oxygen deprivation; as a consequence, people in countries bound primarily to the oceans will suffer too.
The WHO explain that, between 2030 and 2050, heat stress and climate-linked disease are going to cause an extra 250,000 deaths per year. They note, rather importantly, that areas with weak health infrastructure will suffer the most.