The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly perceptible: fertile land turn into desert and water reserves run out fast. This has grave consequences, as many millions of people will be forced to leave their homes, and increasing numbers of climate refugees will migrate to Europe.
According to a study published in Environmental Research Letters, the intolerable heat will make many places around the globe, primarily deserts and very humid areas, uninhabitable by the end of the century.
Researchers at Columbia University have published a paper in Science claiming that if the warming trend continues, the number of people fleeing the heat, famine and the lack of water and migrating to Europe could increase by 660 thousand a year by 2100.
Using data from collected between 2000 and 2014, the scientists sought correlations between the number of days with average temperature over 20 degrees Celsius and increases in the number of refugees. Their vantage point was the scenario predicted by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in which the global average temperature increased by 4.8 °C relative to the preindustrial by the end of the century.
The researchers acknowledged that such models involve a lot of uncertainty, as the number of refugees would only increase at such a rate if warming continued at the current rate. On the other hand, the number of refugees could also drop if the hotter countries develop better ways of adapting to climate change, such as the development of drought-resistant crops or modernisation of their infrastructure.
A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.
This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.
In 2011, Laguna de Aculeo, one of the country’s favourite bathing resorts, still covered 12 square kilometres, and the lake was 6 metres deep – but since then, it has completely dried out.
The problem of the water shortages caused by global warming is much more complex than we have thought. In some parts of Africa, people not only need to face thirst but also the fact that the regions impacted by drought emit a quantity of carbon dioxide equivalent to the emissions of two hundred million cars each year.
According to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that focuses on the interaction between climate change, desertification and food security, if present land use habits are maintained, the planet’s capacity to produce food will drop drastically.
The EU is contributing a further 50 million euro to alleviate drought damage in a number of Eastern and Central African countries. According to estimates, more than 4 million children and about 3 million pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are undernourished in the region.
According to a report from the World Resources Institute, 17 countries are facing extremely high water stress, from India through Israel to Botswana. Many of the countries in question – which, collectively, are home to a quarter of the world’s population – are in the Middle East and North Africa.
Drought in the South African country that largely relies on hydroelectric power is causing not only shortages of drinking water but also power outages of up to 16 hours a day in the capital.
The water yield of the River Nile is becoming increasingly erratic as a result of climate change, which may have very grave consequences for Egypt.
Unprecedented droughts, heat waves claiming more than a hundred lives: the summer of 2019 has made it clear for the whole world that India is in big trouble. How will climate change shape the future of the country?