The Earth’s climate is the single most important factor that supports life on earth and human societies. Periodically, however, there have been major climate changes that have disrupted human life on earth – in some cases major climate changes have led to the destruction of entire civilizations according to some interpretations of archaeological evidence.

Climate change disruption has the potential to harm humanity as well as the environment, social frameworks and economic structures on which humans depend. It occurs when societies cannot respond or recover effectively from the disruptive effects of climate change. Potentially disruptive climate events occur, however, at different rates and intensities in different parts of the world. Those responsible for anticipating risks must assess climate science to determine the overall impacts of possible future climate change events both globally and locally on a particular group or population.