"There will be fifty million environmental refugees in 2020"

Climate changes are causing major food shortages on the southern half of our globe, resulting in environmental refugees: people looking for a better habitat. Scientists have now calculated that their number will increase rapidly within ten years: it is expected that around fifty million southerners will move north in 2020.

"When people live in poor conditions, they migrate," says researcher Cristina Tirado. Migrants from Africa in particular have been coming to Europe for years. The future predicts that there will only be more, the researchers predict.

Even more
"Africans are already going to Spain, Germany and other countries in small groups, but we are going to see many more," says scientist Ewen Todd. "They head north when there is a shortage of food." He points out that the unrest now going on in Tunisia and Egypt is already showing signs on the wall. Food shortages are the driving force behind the dissatisfaction of the citizens.

However, environmental refugees do not only count people who have too little food. Desertification, drought, erosion, deforestation and other environmental problems can also scare people away from their homes. Certainly if these problems are accompanied by other misery such as too many people in a country that is too small and poverty.

Warmer and more humid
The food shortages that are expected in the future, especially in southern countries, are closely related to climate change. The winters are getting warmer and as a result diseases that threaten plants and crops can stay alive and attack directly in the spring. In addition, it is expected that more rain will fall in that period. That moisture is a good breeding ground for the bacteria. Crops get harder, they decrease in number and what remains has a poorer quality.

Surprisingly, governments are not immediately prepared to invest in solutions that can prevent the exodus from Africa, among others. Experts think that this is related to the economic crisis. At the moment, governments simply have other priorities.

The photo above was made by Aramis X. Ramirez.

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