In a nutshell
Climate change and migration
Africa is one of the continents hardest hit by climate change. Desertification, dust storms, and rising sea levels all disrupt life.
Africa’s worst climate-related change in recent decades has been a persistent drought. For example, drought has brought the near disappearance of Lake Chad, and it has widened the Sahel desert belt southward. The African population is growing but rainfall will decrease, so there will be less arable land to feed the population. Temperatures will also rise, making much of Africa uninhabitable.
Rising sea levels will cause problems for coastal cities. Wars will be fought over access to water.
Between 2015 and 2016, migrants to Europe came mainly from Africa. The arrival of millions of migrants created a deep political crisis among European governments. It is estimated that in 15 years, climate change will force more than half of Africa’s 375 million young people to migrate to urban centers. As cities are overwhelmed, many Africans will migrate to Europe.
As climate-change events become more frequent, the number of internally and externally displaced persons in Africa will grow. Within decades, climate migrants will outnumber labor and security migrants.
Rising temperatures will lead to the loss or even extinction of animal and plant species. Entire ecosystems will disappear, including marine environments that sustain fishing communities.
It will become increasingly difficult to grow crops and raise animals. Food security will be affected. Economic crises will create political instability. The most vulnerable segments of these populations – the poorest, minorities, women and children – will be hit the hardest by the crisis.
Source: The next wave of mass migration: Extreme weather events are likely to become the main cause behind waves of immigration toward Europe.
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