Ground Report | New Delhi: Migrations due to floods; Climate migration represents an expanding phenomenon that is none other than the flight of certain groups of people from their places of residence forced by the constant natural dangers that threaten them by the new climate paradigm.
A paradigm marked by droughts, floods, or torrential rains that have managed to mobilize more than 280 million people around the world since 2008. This figure represents a number of humans three times higher than those who managed to displace wars or other “traditional” conflicts during the same period of time, thus connoting the seriousness of the matter.
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Migrations due to floods
According to a study published in the journal IOP Publishing Environmental Research Letters, floods are the main reason for displacement since they alone managed to mobilize 63% more people than conflict or violence. However, their potential does not stop there as this research warns that they could increase by 50% by the end of this century.
“In this study, we show that the global average risk of people displaced by river flooding is projected to double by the end of this century under a scenario in tune with the Paris Agreement, ” the scientists warn.
If the limits of the Paris Agreement are exceeded, that is, if we continue in the line in which we stand now, as they point out, the risk of displacement could increase by 350% by the end of the century. This means that the current numbers of people displaced by floods will multiply by three over 80 years.
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For experts, the fact that the number of displaced people increases by only 50% may mean that we cannot reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on time due to the difficulties that displacement represents for people.
“Under normal circumstances, displaced people are at increased risk of disease and other health problems, as sanitation is difficult to maintain and access to medical care is often limited,” experts say.
“From a long-term perspective, displaced people are among those most at risk of being ‘left behind by economic development and who need special consideration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” they add.
Rising temperatures will not only cause more extreme weather events. The rise itself will also have a direct effect on health. Heat waves that occur periodically will worsen in intensity with global warming of 2 degrees, tripling the population’s exposure to heat stress.
Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will likely cut that impact in half, but deadly heat stress will become common in South Asia, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters.
“The future looks bad for South Asia, but the worst can be avoided by containing warming as low as possible. The need for adaptation in South Asia is today, not in the future. It is no longer a choice, ”says Moetasim Ashfaq, one of the study’s authors.
People living in South Asia are especially vulnerable to deadly heatwaves because the area already experiences very hot and humid summers. Much of the population lives in densely populated cities without regular access to air conditioning, and about 60% do agricultural work and cannot escape the heat by staying indoors.
“While more frequent flood events in a warm climate contribute to the increased risk of river flood displacement, population growth in flood-prone areas also increases this risk,” experts argue.
In the same way, the authors provide some guidelines to mitigate climate displacement, starting with the commitment to better urban planning because “the regions with the greatest increases in displacement are those that are projected to be more urban in the coming decades”.