Global Warming Could Trigger a ‘Climate Exodus’ from the Middle East and North Africa

Josh Hrala, Science Alert, May 4, 2016

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According to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Cyprus Institute, temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa will soon reach levels too high for human survival.

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The high temperatures, mixed with air pollutants and dust, could force many families to migrate to find better, more suitable conditions, the researchers explain.

To come to this troubling conclusion, the team studied previous climate data and used 26 different climate models to project how conditions in the Middle East would change from 2046 to 2065 and then from 2081 to 2100.

These projections were made using two separate scenarios: one that assumed greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 2040 (if everyone follows the UN guidelines) and one that had them continue to rise–a condition they refer to as “business-as-usual”.

When all was said and done, the team found that the Middle East and Northern Africa will continue to experience a rise in temperature in both scenarios, and this rise will likely lead to a mass exodus, but to varying degrees.

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With over 500 million people living in the region, if catastrophic climatic events were to happen, it could trigger a migration larger than ever, which would have unseen effects on countless other regions, especially when you consider the problems Europe is currently facing with nowhere near that many refugees.

Though Lelieveld and his colleagues do not go into how this event would actually play out on the ground, it’s safe to say that it would change Europe and Asia forever.

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