Global warming has stirred a major worry about the future of the human beings. Researchers and scientists have issued warning signs about its effect on the earth and steps need to be taken to mitigate its influence. Human race will face consequences if greenhouse emissions are not reduced. A study conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution found that global temperature would increase by 5 °C by 2100 if the similar conditions persists. This estimation highlights 15 percent more temperature than previous estimation. Moreover, the analysis showed that the odds of temperature increase by more than 4 °C by the end of the century will go from 62 percent to 93 percent in ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, in which countries do not intentionally try to reduce greenhouse emissions. If these conditions persist, European Union (EU) will undergo a lot of headache in management of refugees seeking asylum.
Not only social and economic struggle but also temperature variations are the reasons for immigration. The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean area has gained a lot of attention over past few years. People are running away from Syria and entering the EU regions. One of the major reasons is climate change, leading to social and economic strife in Syria. A new study published in Science Magazine found a connection between variation in temperature and asylum applications. It does not only focus on Mediterranean area or Syria but also on the world. The study outlined the effect of climate migration over the next decades.
Researchers studied applications from over 103 countries for asylum in the EU. These countries submitted total 350,000 applications each year. Then they studied how the weather changed in those countries during the period, 2000–2014. It was found that as temperatures during the seasons and at agricultural areas varied from optimal value of about 20 °C, the number of asylum applications grew. The growth was not only proportional but also nonlinear. It implied that as the temperature varied initially, there was little change in number of applications. But the number grew considerably as temperature changed more and more.
“Europe is already conflicted about how many refugees to admit,” said Wolfram Schlenker, the study’s senior author, an economist at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a professor at the university’s Earth Institute. “Though poorer countries in hotter regions are most vulnerable to climate change, our findings highlight the extent to which countries are interlinked, and Europe will see increasing numbers of desperate people fleeing their home countries.”
Researchers also discovered that there will be 200% increase in number of applications seeking refuge in EU in ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. The number of applications will nearly reach 660,000 each year. On the other hand, if countries take some actions to reduce greenhouse emission, the increase in number of applications will drop to 30%, which contributes to nearly 98,000 applications every year.
The findings showed that people would migrate to regions with better economic conditions. So, essential measures must be taken by all the countries as the focus should not be only on ‘now’ but also ‘tomorrow’. Though climate changes lead to migrations in this era, necessary measures could lower the percentage of migrations in the future.