Researchers published a new study making the shockingly apocalyptic claim that nearly one-fifth of the world’s population will be forced from their homes due to man-made global warming.
The study estimates there could be 2 billion “climate change refugees” by the year 2100 if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a worst-case scenario for global warming, the study claims.
“The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual,” Cornell University ecologist Charles Geisler, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Yet few policymakers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”
Geisler’s study is just the latest to predict waves of refugees from rising sea levels and more frequent and stronger extreme weather events — all allegedly caused by global warming. The study also goes over policies the authors believe countries, like China and the U.S., can use to protect coastal communities from rising seas.
Past claims of climate refugees have not come to pass. Most famously, the United Nations Environment Programme quietly removed a web page claiming there would be 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010. The UN pushed its prediction to 2020.
There’s also little to no evidence global warming has made weather more extreme or frequent. Scientists have also been critical of efforts to link individual weather events to man-made warming.
Geisler estimates 1.4 billion will be “climate refugees” by 2060 and 2 billion will be forced out of their homes by global warming by 2100. Global population is estimated to be about 11 million by the end of the century.
He said the pressure to feed a rising global population combined with rising sea level could cause conflict to break out or force the U.S. to sell off public lands.
Geisler said “humans have spent considerable effort reclaiming land from oceans, but now live with the opposite – the oceans reclaiming terrestrial spaces on the planet, according to the study’s release.
The claim that oceans are reclaiming land mass, however, contradicts observational evidence from satellites that global land area has actually increased, not decreased in the last thirty years.
A 2016 study by the Dutch Deltares Research Institute found coastal areas have grown, on net, 13,000 square miles over the last 30 years, with 67,000 square miles of added compared to 44,000 square miles of land was being covered by water.
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