People are already being displaced due to changes in climate and this is set to get worse. By the year 2050, we can expect to have up to 150 million climate refugees.
How Climate Change Can Cause Migration
According to a report by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), weather changes can cause many problems. These include the rise of sea levels and desertification, making certain areas difficult if not impossible to live in. People would then have to follow in the foosteps of other species that have had to migrate and move to a different location in order to survive.
The Formation of ‘Ghost States’
The mass movement of people out of states can lead to the areas becoming vacant, otherwise known as ‘ghost states’, where lands are abandoned due to intolerable weather. The issue can be even more frightening. By the year 2100, entire countries could be evacuated! It might seem like a lot is required for this to happen, but a mere increase of two degrees Celsius could cause 34 percent of the world’s population to move over 300 miles where temperatures are tolerable. It’s thought that some regions, such as those in Africa and India, will be most at risk.
Migration Due to Global Warming is Already Happening
Migration is not just something that could occur in the future – it’s already happening. The same EJF report as above states how in 2008, over 20 million people migrated from their homes due to natural disasters.
Scientists have found, however, that migration is not just caused by global warming wreaking havoc with the weather, but because climate change negatively affects resources such as food. In rural Pakistan, researchers studied the reasons for migration out of the country over the last 21 years and found that the increase in heat that inhibited the farming economy was the main cause.
An increase in temperature has far more serious consequences than simply making the weather too hot or volatile. It will reduce our resources, while ghost states could affect nationality and identity, with people being displaced from their countries but still feeling part of them. The climate refugee crisis will affect all of our lives in some way, whether directly or indirectly.