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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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Climate Change Would Affect Health Of Indian Children: Lancet

Climate change would hit health of Indian children hard, says study by Lancet

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Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change. Pixabay

Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change such as worsening air quality, higher food prices and rise in infectious diseases, warns a new study published in the journal The Lancet.

Climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera is rising three per cent a year in India since the early 1980s, said the report.

“With its huge population and high rates of healthcare inequality, poverty, and malnutrition, few countries are likely to suffer from the health effects of climate change as much as India,” said study co-author Poornima Prabhakaran from the Public Health Foundation of India.

“Diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas, whilst deadly heatwaves, similar to the one in 2015 that killed thousands of people in India, could soon become the norm,” Prabhakaran said.

Through adolescence and into adulthood, a child born today will be breathing more toxic air, driven by the fossil fuels and made worse by rising temperatures.

This is especially damaging to young people as their lungs are still developing, so polluted air takes a great toll, contributing to reduced lung function, worsening asthma, and increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Later in life, a child born today will face increased risk from severe floods, prolonged droughts, and wildfires.

 

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Children in India breathe toxic air and may develop lung diseases. Pixabay

Most countries have experienced an increase in people exposed to wildfires since 2001-2004 with a financial toll per person 48 times larger than flooding.

India alone saw an increase of more than 21 million exposures, and China around 17 million, resulting in direct deaths and respiratory illness as well as loss of homes, said the report.

“Over the past two decades, the Government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate,” Prabhakaran said.

The “Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” is a yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators, demonstrating what action to meet Paris Agreement targets — or business as usual — means for human health.

The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University.

For the world to meet its UN climate goals and protect the health of the next generation, the energy landscape will have to change drastically, the report warns.

Also Read- Prince Charles Talks Climate Change in India

Nothing short of a 7.4 per cent year-on-year cut in fossil CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2050 will limit global warming to the more ambitious goal of 1.5 degree Celsius, said the report. If the world follows a business-as-usual pathway, with high carbon emissions and climate change continuing at the current rate, a child born today will face a world on average over 4 degree Celsius warmer by their 71st birthday, threatening their health at every stage of their lives. (IANS)