Climate may uproot 6 million yearly

The impact of climate change could displace approximately six million people each year, reported Reuters, citing comments by a top United Nations official. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that roughly half of these people will be uprooted by natural disasters while the other half will be forced to move by gradual climate change.

The UNHCR predicts that by mid-century between 200 million and 250 million people will be displaced from their homes by sudden weather disasters, said L. Craig Johnstone, the UN deputy high commissioner for refugees. The agency estimates that around three million people could be uprooted by sudden disasters per year while an additional three million people are likely to migrate because of gradual changes like rising sea levels.


"That means a displacement of something like six million people a year — that’s a staggering number," Johnstone told Reuters. However, he also stated that plans could be made to cope with those displaced by natural disasters because experts understood which areas of the world were likely to be affected.  


UNHCR statistics indicate that 67 million people were displaced globally at the end of 2007, out of which 25 million were uprooted because of natural disasters.


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