Climate change is considered as a key driver of migration. Harsh weather conditions is considered as one of the most devastating effect of climate change. Global warming is increasing the risk extreme weather including events like heat waves, heavy precipitation, droughts and wildfires. The scientists are confident that rising sea levels are leading to higher storm surges and more floods. Furthermore, more evaporation leads to more moisture in the atmosphere, which eventually intensifies the rainfall. Apart from these visible effects, it is believed that climate change will be having far-reaching effects on agricultural productivity and food security. Owing to this, record numbers of people will be forced to migrate from rural areas to towns and cities around the world. More importantly, Paris Climate Change Agreement acknowledges the need to protect vulnerable populations including migrants and set up a task force to advance strategies that avert, minimize and address displacement related to climate change.
The new study has suggested that if the current climate trends continues then by the end of the century number of migrants attempting to settle in Europe each year will be tripled. The study further predicts that if efforts to curb global warming are successful then number of applications for asylum could rise by a quarter. Lead author of the study Professor Wolfram Schlenker stated that Europe will see increasing numbers of desperate people fleeing their home countries. The study is based on the examination of asylum applications in the EU from 103 countries between 2000 and 2014. The researchers compared the information on environmental factors, such as temperature and weather, and adjusted the data for factors such as conflict and political turmoil to draw the conclusion. During their analysis, they spotted a trend correlating weather and changes in the applications.
In a press conference, Director of climate science research institute Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber stated that Migration is happening all the time, but with unabated global warming … we’ll have to move over a billion. According to the report “A Region at Risk: the Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific”, some parts of Asia and the Pacific will experience a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the year 2100. The report further suggests that such increase in temperatures will lead to drastic changes in the region’s weather systems, agriculture and fisheries, biodiversity, trade and urban development. Report suggests that Bangladesh is the country most at risk, and poor people are to be hit the hardest, prompting migration on a massive scale.
Research has suggested that climate change will result in more droughts, floods, heatwaves, and other extreme weather, as well as more intense storms and rising sea levels. These effects will influence agriculture on global level. However, linking migration to climate change is controversial. But many scientists and numerous studies are clearly indicating that rising temperatures and extreme weather are likely to increase migration.