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Study Expects 2 Billion Climate Change Refugees by 2100 due to Global mean Sea Level Rise

Earth’s escalating population is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050 and climb to 11 billion people by 2100

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  • Earth’s escalating population is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050 and climb to 11 billion people by 2100
  • Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland
  • Feeding that population will require more arable land even as swelling oceans consume fertile coastal zones and river deltas, driving people to seek new places to dwell

New York, June 27, 2017: Global mean sea level rise may dislocate hundreds of millions of people by 2100, making about one-fifth of the world’s population — two billion people — climate change refugees, says a study.

Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to the study published in the journal Land Use Policy.

“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner than we think,” said lead author Charles Geisler, Professor Emeritus of Development Sociology at Cornell University in the US.

“The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground,” Geisler said.

ALSO READ: Refugees in India Looming For Basic Rights: Here Is Why India Needs Refugee Law!

Earth’s escalating population is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050 and climb to 11 billion people by 2100, according to a United Nations report.

Feeding that population will require more arable land even as swelling oceans consume fertile coastal zones and river deltas, driving people to seek new places to dwell.

By 2060, about 1.4 billion people could be climate change refugees, according to the paper. Geisler extrapolated that number to two billion by 2100.

“The colliding forces of human fertility, submerging coastal zones, residential retreat, and impediments to inland resettlement is a huge problem,” Geisler said.

“We offer preliminary estimates of the lands unlikely to support new waves of climate refugees due to the residues of war, exhausted natural resources, declining net primary productivity, desertification, urban sprawl, land concentration, ‘paving the planet’ with roads and greenhouse gas storage zones offsetting permafrost melt,” Geisler said.

“Beyond sea level rise, low-elevation coastal zones in many countries face intensifying storm surges that will push sea water further inland. Historically, humans have spent considerable effort reclaiming land from oceans, but now live with the opposite — the oceans reclaiming terrestrial spaces on the planet,” said Geisler.

In their research, Geisler and Currens explored a worst-case scenario for the present century.

The authors noted that the competition for reduced space that they foresee will induce land-use trade-offs and conflicts. In the US and elsewhere, this could mean selling off public lands for human settlement.

“The pressure is on us to contain greenhouse gas emissions at present levels. It’s the best ‘future proofing’ against climate change, sea level rise and the catastrophic consequences likely to play out on coasts, as well as inland in the future,” Geisler said. (IANS)

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Denis Hayes- Earth Day Founder Predicts 2020 will be Turning Point in Global Climate Change Movement

"I'm confident that the end is in sight. When conditions are right, people are ready to demand change, and America can turn on a dime," Hayes told reporters

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earth day, climate change
FILE - A man walks past a mural the day before Earth Day, in Philadelphia, April 21, 2017. VOA

Denis Hayes, the man credited with founding Earth Day, predicted 2020 will be a turning point in the global climate change movement.

“I’m confident that the end is in sight. When conditions are right, people are ready to demand change, and America can turn on a dime,” Hayes told reporters Monday during a news conference on Earth Day, which he helped established in 1970.

Hayes said people around the world are demanding change, especially the young, and that makes him optimistic.

earth day, google doodle
FILE – An environmental militant shows an orange, painted as a globe, during an event to mark the Earth Overshoot Day on Aug. 1, 2018 in Berlin. It marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. VOA

“It recently happened in the United States on gay marriage. It more recently happened in New Zealand on gun control. It happened globally on the ozone hole,” Hayes said.

Tens of thousands of students around the world skipped school for one day last month to protest inaction on climate change. There were protests in South Africa, India, New Zealand and South Korea. In Europe, students packed streets in London, Lisbon, Vienna, Rome and Copenhagen, among other cities.

Mass climate change protests have been taking place in London for the past week. On Monday, police said they have arrested 1,065 people since Extinction Rebellion began, aimed at paralyzing parts of central London to emphasize the need for sharp reductions in carbon use.

earth day, climate change
FILE – Youths demonstrate with a banner reading “the greed for profit destroys our earth!” during the “Fridays For Future” movement on a global day of student protests aiming to spark world leaders into action on climate change, March 15, 2019 in Berlin. VOA

ALSO READ: Google Doodle Celebrates Earth Day with Series of Animations on Six Unique Inhabitants on Earth

“Most social movements are powered by youth,” he told reporters.

Hayes said even though U.S. President Donald Trump has “taken a wrecking ball to international climate treaties, appointed the two worst EPA administrators in history, and pledged to resuscitate the dead coal industry, I’m confident that the end is in sight.” (VOA)