A new study shows that if the population were fixed at current levels, the risk of population displacement due to river floods would rise by ~50% for each degree of global warming.
A new study shows that if the population were fixed at current levels, the risk of population displacement due to river floods would rise by ~50% for each degree of global warming. However, if population increases are taken into account, the relative global flood displacement risk is significantly higher.
The research, by an international team from Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, used a global climate-, hydrology- and inundation-modelling chain, including multiple alternative climate and hydrological models, to quantify the effect of global warming on displacement risk for both current and projected future population distributions. Their results are published today in the IOP Publishing journal, Environmental Research Letters.
Since 2008, disasters caused by natural hazards have caused 288 million people to be displaced, three times the number displaced as a result of wars, conflicts and violence. Floods account for about half of all disaster displacements; floods alone have caused 63% more displacement than conflict and violence. As the authors of this research point out: “Displacement poses many hardships, which often fall most heavily on socio-economically vulnerable groups, who tend to live in more hazard-prone areas… displaced people face heightened risks to their physical and mental health, livelihoods, land tenancy, personal security, and many other aspects of their well-being.” In addition to risk at the personal level, the authors explain: “From a long-term perspective, displaced people are among those most at risk of being “left behind” by economic development. According to the UN’s secretary-general, displacement and climate change represent the key challenges we face as a global community.”
Read more at IOP Publishing
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