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Climate change is going to drive thousands of refugees to cooler countries

By the end of the century, climate change may drive 660,000 additional asylum seekers per year toward Europe. Growing mass migration is only one of the social and environmental consequences of increasing temperatures.

Climate threat multiplier

Climate change doesn’t just warm the air and melt glaciers. It acts as a “threat multiplier,” playing on the vulnerabilities of ecosystems and communities in ways that we are yet to fully understand.

Migration is a case in point: the way it’s changing, and is projected to change in the future, highlights how the impacts of climate change on one place spill over to other parts of the world. A new study in Science finds that as crops fail in agricultural regions of the world, more people will seek asylum in Europe in the coming decades. If the current warming trends were to continue, the research predicts that by 2100 Europe will receive around 660,000 extra applicants each year.

photo credit: CAFOD Photo Library

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