Fleeing the Climate: the ‘Great Migration’ Ahead
One of the biggest challenges of today is the migration of people associated with the impacts of climate change on crops, water resources, droughts and risks related to health. Climate models are in agreement: higher temperatures and the increase in heat waves will make many areas of our already overpopulated planet unlivable. The results of a recent study speak for themselves, finding that in next 50 years, temperatures will rise more than they have in the last 6,000 years. For most of human history, people lived in a surprisingly restricted range of temperatures and the alteration of such balances, even moderate, brings great consequences
There have been several recent studies looking at how to understand and predict the problem of climate migration or study plausible alternatives. Joining these efforts, the New York Times recently collaborated with the online newspaper ProPublica to try to understand how the people of Central America will move within their own countries and to other countries as a consequence of global warming. Their model shows that the areas where humans can barely survive today (for example, the Sahara desert), which today cover about 1 percent of surface of our planet, will grow to about 20 percent within the next 50 years, with about 200 million climate migrants estimated by 2050. The model suggests that migration will increase regardless of the climate, but that the number of migrants will increase significantly with climate change. In the most extreme climatic scenarios, more than 30 million migrants would make their way to the US border over the next 30 years
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