30 Million People Displaced By Climate- And Weather-Related Events Last Year


A new report out today shows that over 30 million people were displaced by climate-related extreme weather events … [Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Publications] The Global Estimates report reveals that 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2012 by disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes. While Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt, 1.3 million were displaced in rich countries, with the USA particularly affected. 98% of all displacement in 2012 was related to climate- and weather-related events, with flood disasters in India and Nigeria accounting for 41% of global displacement in 2012. In India, monsoon floods displaced 6.9 million, and in Nigeria 6.1 million people were newly displaced. While over the past five years 81% of global displacement has occurred in Asia, in 2012 Africa had a record high for the region of 8.2 million people newly displaced, over four times more than in any of the previous four years. … Just as climate expert Lord Stern predicts that hundreds of millions will be displaced this century. [Guardian] It is increasingly likely that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced from their homelands in the near future as a result of global warming. That is the stark warning of economist and climate change expert Lord Stern following the news last week that concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere had reached a level of 400 parts per million (ppm). Massive movements of people are likely to occur over the rest of the century because global temperatures are likely to rise to by up to 5C because carbon dioxide levels have risen unabated for 50 years, said Stern, who is head of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change. “When temperatures rise to that level, we will have disrupted weather patterns and spreading deserts,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth.” New research suggests that half of the world’s plants and a third of its animals will lose more than half of their habitats due to climate change this century. [BBC, LA Times, USA Today] Today marks one month (exactly) past the deadline on which the Administration was supposed to issue rules to regulate carbon pollution from new power plants, as ordered by the Supreme Court. [LA Times] Hunters are particularly sensitive to climate impacts and could be an ally in cutting carbon emissions. [Outside] Experts say Maine forests face threats from pests and increasing temperatures, threatening 30,000 forestry jobs. [Portland Press Herald] As Secretary Kerry heads to a meeting of the Arctic Council this week, the White House issued a strategy for protection and limited development of the Arctic in the face of climate change. [AP] The U.S. Drought Monitor may need an entirely new, more extreme category to describe the exceptional drought conditions brought on by climate change. [ClimateWire] Northern California has entered a moderate drought stage. [Times Standard] Elderly people face higher risks of being hospitalized for respiratory failure on hot days. [Baltimore Sun] Could carbon emissions be used to fuel algae that could be turned into fuel, fertilizer, and livestock feed? Canadian Natural Resources will start a pilot project to find out. [Calgary Herald] New Jersey will be getting 140 megawatts of solar power in the news few year, largely on polluted lands and brownfields sites. [Solar Love] Ethanol tide turning? The Maine State House voted to ban ethanol in gasoline if two other New England states do the same thing. [Bangor Daily News] Zoning issue imperil Scottish wind farm development. [Edinburgh Scotsman] Some Nebraska electric utilities want weaker energy efficiency, renewable energy, and emissions-reduction laws. [Columbus Telegram]

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