Environmental refugees aren’t concentrated in one particular location. However, they are all united by a common underlying cause of their refugee status, that is global warming. Since 2007 there has been an increase of about 2 million refugees world wide. Much of that increase is attributable to global warming and the ensuing shortages of water and food.
By one rough estimate, as many as 100 million people worldwide live in areas below sea level and/or are subject to storm surge. Consider the following:
-China’s Gobi desert expands more than 10,000 square kilometers per year, threatening many villages, and Morocco, Tunisia and Libya each lose over 1,000 square kilometers of productive land annually to desertification.
-In Egypt, half of irrigated croplands suffer from salinization, while in Turkey 160,000 square kilometers of farmlands is affected by soil erosion.
-US Louisiana now loses roughly 65 square kilometers per year to erosion by the sea, while in Alaska 213 communities are threatened by tides that creep roughly 3 meters further inland each year.
-The low-lying Pacific island state of Tuvalu has struck an agreement with New Zealand to accept its 11,600 citizens in the event rising sea levels swamp the country.
-500,000 Bhola Islanders were left homeless Bangladesh
-Inhabitants of the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea and other inhabitants of low lying islands and Island states, are also at risk (especially Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives)
-In Alaska, the village of Shishmaref, located on the 100 km long barrier island of Sarichef, also faces evacuation as rising temperatures cause the melting of sea ice and the thawing of the permafrost.
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