Friday 24 February 2023

‘A 1°C temperature increase triggers a tenfold jump in forced migration’

‘A 1°C temperature increase triggers a tenfold jump in forced migration’

If temperatures increase by just 1°C, the number of people being displaced can increase tenfold.

That’s according to a study by the University of Oxford, which studied the impacts of climate change, drought and extreme weather on Somalia.

In addition to temperature increases, the researchers have said that even a monthly drop in rainfall of 50mm can cause the number forced to migrate to double.

Explaining why, lead author Dr Lisa Thalheimer, said: “The lives of pastoralists and farmers in Somalia are balanced on a knife edge. Even a 1°C rise on normal temperatures – whether sustained or frequently re-occurring over a few months – is enough to cause pastures to dry up and crop yield to change.”

Climate change is having an undoubted impact on the African continent, she added – explaining that if action is not taken now, the livelihoods of so many on the continent will be in danger.

Moritz Schwarz, Co-Author, added: “The impacts of climate change are already being felt by these vulnerable regions and are likely to get worse. Our research suggests investing in adaptation measures, building local capacity and arranging for rapid humanitarian aid will be key to avoid mass displacement events in future, and helping to stop extreme weather or conflict situations from turning into full blown disasters.”

Drought was considered the most common reason for forced migration, even ahead of conflict.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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