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Individual extreme weather events can trigger an exodus of displaced people searching for a new home—in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example, about a quarter million people were displaced from New Orleans—but many others are driven by environments increasingly hostile to the life they once knew. For example, in South America, Southeast Asia, and North Africa, people relying on farming are abandoning their homes as crop failure increases The influx of people from Central America and Mexico to the US in the coming decades will correlate with the extent of climate warming. A scenario in which modest action is taken to reduce emissions would see about 680,000 migrants coming to the US border; an unabated increase in emissions raises that number to more than one million, and these exclude undocumented immigrants.

Links between mass migration, political instability, and social upheaval have been well-documented. This is one of the reasons that climate change is considered a “threat multiplier” in terms of national security with its potential to tip a society on the brink into conflict. This is an example of another feedback loop in the climate change process: changed environmental conditions spur both conflict and migration; conflict and migration continually reinforce one another.

Migration, like all other climate change consequences, is charged with cruel inequities. On the local level, it is causing residents to shift between neighborhoods within individual cities as, for example, wealthy Miami residents flee the coastline for quickly-developing hilltop neighborhoods like Liberty City, which used to be a predominantly black neighborhood whose long-time residents are finding their lives suddenly unaffordable.

CREDIT: CITYLAB

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Report On The Impact Of Climate Change On Migration

10/31/21
The climate crisis is reshaping our world, as the Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization. Defined by changes in average weather conditions that persist over…

New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States

11/28/20
According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume…

The Great Climate Migration

07/23/20
This article, the first in a series on global climate migration, is a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center.

iDMC

06/29/20
To provide high-quality data, analysis and expertise on internal displacement with the aim of informing policy and operational decisions that can reduce the risk of future displacement and improve the lives of internally displaced people…

Center for Migration Studies

02/03/20
Throughout human history, migration and climate have always been connected, but in the modern era, the impacts of the man-made climate crisis are likely to extensively change the patterns of human settlement.

Migration and the climate crisis: the UN’s search for solutions

02/03/20
Throughout human history, migration and climate have always been connected, but in the modern era, the impacts of the man-made climate crisis are likely to extensively change the patterns of human settlement.

MORE NEWS

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Climate Displacement Gives America the Opportunity to Improve the Record on Immigration

By Diana Martinez Quintana   02/09/22  
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Op-Ed: The world’s definition of ‘refugee’ shortchanges economic migrants

By Anthony Pahnke  Photo: Salvatore Cavalli / Associated Press   01/02/22  
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The White House Report on Climate Migration, Explained

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By 2050, 200 Million Climate Refugees May Have Fled Their Homes.

By Moira Lavelle  Photo: Seth Sidney Berry   11/02/21  
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US: More threats, more desperate refugees as climate warms

By Julie Watson, Ellen Knickmeyer and Nomaan Merchant   10/22/21  
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How ‘managed retreat’ from climate change could revitalize rural America: Revisiting the Homestead Act

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America’s Next Great Migrations Are Driven by Climate Change

By Parag Khanna and Susan Joy Hassol  Photo: Getty Images   10/14/21  
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Most Americans would rather rebuild than move if natural disaster strikes, poll finds

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With climate change, there may be no best place to live

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Climate change will force people to move. We need to find out where they’ll go

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By Peter R. Orszag  Photo: Wilfredo Lee , AP   09/16/21  
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Report: Climate Change Could See 200 Million Move by 2050

By Renata Brito   09/13/21  
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Climate change could displace 200 million people within their own countries by 2050

By Renata Brito  Photo: Patrick Ngugi , Associated Press   09/13/21  
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CNN

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Climate Change Forces Some Americans To Relocate

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"Climate change refugees" are moving due to unsustainable weather conditions.

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Climate change drives migrants to U.S. border, Harris says

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Capturing the Faces of Climate Migration

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A Times Magazine series examines how climate change will force millions worldwide to move. Recently, Meridith Kohut photographed people on the front lines of this shift. In America.

How Climate Migration Will Reshape America

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Burkina Faso Study Shows Link Between Land Degradation and Migration

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Sorting out the factors that drive migration can help countries to plan ahead and provide support systems. ...

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World needs to prepare for ‘millions’ of climate displaced: U.N.

By Luke Baker   01/21/20  
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bbc

People urgently fleeing climate crisis cannot be sent home, UN rules

Photo by Getty Images   01/20/20  
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Too hot for humans? First Nations people fear becoming Australia’s first climate refugees

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Can We Predict ‘Climate Migrations’?

By Francesco Fiondella   12/05/19  
A prototype model considers climate and socioeconomic factors to see if displacements of people can be predicted and better explained. ...

Climate Change Is Altering Migration Patterns Regionally and Globally

By Jayla Lundstrom  Photo: Getty/Orlando Sierra/AFP   12/03/19  
Since at least 2014, a growing number of asylum-seekers from Central America have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. While the response from the Obama administration raised genuine protection concerns, the Trump administration has taken the…

20 Million People Have Fled Their Homes Because Of ‘Climate Chaos’ Since 2008: Oxfam

12/02/19  
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House Democrats Unveil Bill To Protect Climate Refugees

By Alexander C. Kaufman   10/23/19  
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By Prashant Gopal  Photo by Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg   09/20/19  
Mass migration begins as coastal homes are bulldozed in the state facing the biggest threat from climate-driven inundation.

How climate change is driving emigration from Central America

By Miranda Cady Hallett  Photo: Todd Post/Bread for the World Institute   09/06/19  
Rising global temperatures, the spread of crop disease and extreme weather events have made coffee harvests unreliable in places like El Salvador. On top of that, market prices are unpredictable.