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.
"We don’t want to leave this place. We don’t want to leave, it’s our land, our God given land, it is our culture, we can’t leave. People won’t leave until the very last minute.” With these dramatic words, Paani Laupepa, the former assistant secretary at Tuvalu's Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, expressed the feelings of many Tuvaluans when it comes to the worst-case scenario of climate change and its effects on small island nations.