Articles | Volume 78, issue 2
Standard article
24 Apr 2023
Standard article |  | 24 Apr 2023

What is lost from climate change? Phenomenology at the “limits to adaptation”

Maximilian Gregor Hepach and Friederike Hartz

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Cited articles

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Barnett, J., Tschakert, P., Head, L., and Adger, W. N.: A science of loss, Nat. Clim. Change, 6, 976–978,, 2016.  a, b, c, d
Bawaka, Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., Lloyd, K., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B., and Maymuru, D.: Gathering of the Clouds: Attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals, Geoforum, 108, 295–304,, 2020. a, b, c
Billinge, M.: In search of negativism: phenomenology and historical geography, J. Hist. Geogr., 3, 55–67,, 1977. a
Boyd, E., James, R. A., Jones, R. G., Young, H. R., and Otto, F. E. L.: A typology of loss and damage perspectives, Nat. Clim. Change, 7, 723–729,, 2017. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j
Short summary
Our paper develops a theoretical framework to help one understand what is lost when changes due to climate change are irreversible. In particular, we focus on the existential aspect of such loss as opposed to, for instance, the economic aspect. We argue that phenomenological theory can help one appreciate the full existential nature of loss from climate change, namely not only the loss of objects or even land but also the loss of whole ways of relating to the world.