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Migration, Forced by Climate Change

By: Jackie Swift,  Cornell Research
April 20, 2017

Climate change is a game changer: glaciers melt, sea levels rise, weather patterns become unpredictable. Then add the anticipated secondary effects, such as crop failure, the salinization of freshwater, and the flooding of coastal cities. With all of this disruption, massive movements of people across the globe in coming years are sure to happen, as the people affected look for new homes. “More and more people will be displaced because of climate change,” says Maria Cristina Garcia, History. “The question is this: Can we come up with some kind of legal mechanism in the United States and internationally that addresses what promises to be a significant problem?”

Garcia is exploring that question in her latest book project, "Climate Refugees: The Environmental Origins of Refugee Migrations," which looks at environmentally driven migrants. “People have been displaced by climate for millennia,” Garcia says, “but we are now at a particular historical moment, facing a new type of environmentally driven migration that will be more fast and furious. It will require incredible adaptability and political will to keep up with the changes that are forecasted to happen.”

Continue reading this article on the Cornell Research website.

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