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Natural Awakenings National

Climate Refugees Could Reach One Billion by 2050

Climate Change Map


The U.S. Geological Survey predicts that global sea levels would rise by about 230 feet if all the glaciers and ice caps on Earth melted, flooding almost every coastal city in the world. This disastrous possibility forces us to confront where current coastal dwellers would go if their cities become uninhabitable. In 2017, of the 68.5 million people that were displaced by sudden weather events that included floods, forest fires and intense storms, more than one-third of them were forced to leave their homes behind.

2018 World Bank report found that without tangible climate action, more than 143 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America will be forced to move to escape the impacts of climate change by 2050. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, more than 1 billion people worldwide will live in countries with insufficient infrastructure to withstand climate change by 2050. The Pacific Islands are expected to be impacted especially hard because sea levels there are already rising at almost half an inch each year.
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