World Bank warns of 140 million 'climate migrants' by 2050

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By 2050, 140 million people could be forced to migrate internally as the effects of global warming exacerbate problems like water scarcity, crop failure, rising sea levels and storm surges, according to a new report.

Analysts stated that unless urgent action is taken to mitigate against climate change and develop strong development policies in response, these regions could see 143 million new climate migrants.

"Climate change impacts will pose one of the greatest threats to people, ecosystems, and development goals over the coming decades", the report noted.

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The exodus could create a looming humanitarian crisis and will threaten the development process. Almost 86 million people are expected to be internally displaced in sub-Saharan Africa, about 40 million in South Asia, and around 17 million in Latin America. "We know that internal migration is probably three times more important", said John Roome, the Director of climate change at the World Bank.

"Steps cities take to cope with the upward trend of arrivals from rural areas and to improve opportunities for education, training and jobs will pay long-term dividends".

Without that preparation, cities could face serious repercussions, said Kanta Kumari Rigaud, who led creation of the World Bank report.

"Population growth coupled with the fact that extreme heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States call for the need to identify the relative roles of internal variability and human-caused climate change on these extremes", says Lopez.

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Across each scenario, they applied demographic, socio-economic and climate impact data at a 14 sq.km grid-cell level to model likely shifts in population within countries.

"Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more risky risks", the report added.

"Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more unsafe risks", said Kanta Kumari Rigaud, the report's team lead.

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