Climate Change Refugees

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The effect of human influence in the emission of greenhouse gases has affected the earth immensely. It has led to unpredictable changes in weather patterns, a rise in sea levels and an increase of extreme weather events across the earth. These disparities in weather conditions endanger the safety of many, prompting them to consider relocation or forcing them to relocate and join the global march of climate change refugees.

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This research paper will examine the impact climate change has on displacement and migration by examining five different areas around the world and their affected communities. These areas include the Small Islands, the Arctic, Bangladesh, Lake Poop?? and the River Deltas. Based on climate projections that predict major changes in the world’s weather, the number of climate change refugees is expected to grow in the near future, which is why understanding the impact global warming has on displacement, is key to prepare and possibly prevent anyone else from becoming a climate change refugee.

Climate change has become one of the most downplayed threats of this century. The disbelief surrounding the subject prevents many world leaders from taking action and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. This disbelief comes not from lack of evidence, but lack of reception since many decide to believe information and sources that reinforce their views rather than challenge them (DiMento). Proving that climate change is to blame for many of the current natural disasters and displacing events is difficult, but there is significant evidence that shows the correlation between human activity and global warming. There is no doubt that the industrial activities that modern civilizations depend on have warmed the earth. Evidence shows they have raised CO2 levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years (Global Climate). These warmer temperatures created by the expansion of the greenhouse effect, lead to various alterations in the world, including the melting of glaciers, the rise of sea levels, the change in precipitation patterns, heatwaves, droughts and stronger hurricanes among other extreme weather events. The destruction and devastation caused by these events become the forcing factor in the displacement and migration of millions of people, referred to as climate change refugees.

Across the globe, many communities fall under this category of refugees, and for many familiar, with the term, the first thing that may come to mind is the small, low-lying island nations of the Pacific. Due to their low elevation, these small islands become easy targets for the slow rise of the sea. In fact, the world’s first climate change refugee is considered to be the small island of Kiribati. Located in the Central Pacific, this island stands at six feet above sea level and has a population of approximately 100,000 people (Pilkey). While the island is bordered by a seawall to prevent the worst of the ocean waves brought by storm surges from flooding into the shoreline and eroding the land,

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