Scientists: global warming will intensify the «invasion» of migrants to Europe

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupМужчина on the dam dried Manjara Dam in India. 2016Scientists: global warming will intensify the «invasion» of migrants to Europe© AP Photo / Manish Swarup

The number of potential immigrants and refugees wanting to seek asylum in Europe could triple by early next century if global warming will go the current pace, says an article published in the journal Science.

«Europe has now held a fierce debate about how many immigrants should be allowed into the EU. Despite the fact that global warming will affect hardest the poor countries in tropical regions of the world, close ties between all regions of the world will lead to the fact that Europe will flood flows of «climate refugees» from all corners of the Earth,» said Slanker Tungsten (Wolfram Schlenker) of Columbia University in new York (USA).

In recent years, scientists are seriously concerned about how the climate can affect migration of people today, and how it could affect the history of mankind in the past. For example, some climatologists now believe that the modern conflict in the middle East broke out in 2009 due to a series of droughts, and wars in Latin America in pre-Columbian era were associated with the climatic phenomenon El niño, and produced a crop failure.

Analysis of the climate of Europe during antiquity and the middle ages shows that past global warming and cooling have been the cause of the decline of Byzantium in 7-8 centuries of our era and stop the Mongol campaign to the West in 1242. Other climatic changes could cause even more serious consequences – the destruction of the civilizations of the Maya and the Indian city-States.

Slanker and his postgraduate student of Anuj Missirian were interested in how the modern climatic processes may affect the frequency of migrations of people. To answer this question the researchers obtained data on the number of applications that workers from 103 countries submitted to the EU bodies, and compared them with the varied summer temperatures in 2000-2014.

As shown by these observations, the number of such petitions increased sharply in those years, when the typical summer temperatures have exceeded 20 degrees Celsius, which today is considered optimal for human life.

For this reason, even if the average temperature on Earth will rise by 2100 by just 1.8 degrees Celsius, which is less than the level laid down in the Paris agreement, the number of migrants will increase by a third. In that case, if all the measures for combating climate change be curtailed and the temperature will rise by 2.6-4.8 degrees Celsius, then the number of migrants will grow almost three times.

«This study is extremely important for policymakers because it shows that climate change affects not only the processes within a particular country, but also contributed to the increasing flows of migrants from around the world. Scientists should focus on finding measures that would help developing countries to adapt their agriculture to climate change,» said Juan Carlos Ciscar (Juan-Carlos Ciscar), the representative of the joint research centre of the European Commission.