Migration

Extreme weather events and longer-term climate shifts can promote migration both within and between countries.

The global conditions associated with climate change, including potential changes in tropical cyclone activity, additional drought and flooding, and rising sea levels, present serious risk factors that could trigger large, unplanned population movements. Although displacement is often only temporary and may not result in long-term migration, even short-term movements can exacerbate a range of problems, including increased stress on resources and ecosystems, and strain on governance and security systems. In the long-term, regions across the world may be destabilized by rising sea levels, increased storm surge, rising temperatures, among other impacts, increasing migration flows from affected areas.  Rising sea levels and extreme weather events in coastal zones could contribute to humanitarian disasters and potential refugee flows.

Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns will lead to relative changes in agricultural production, possibly spurring rural to urban migration, or migration across borders to seek more favorable conditions.

In the long-term, even gradual changes in climate may induce migration from the most affected areas. Evidence has shown that weather extremes (i.e. extreme temperatures, extreme precipitation, and storm frequencies) have a negative influence on where people choose to live, and climate-driven changes may influence regional migration. In coastal areas, sea-level rise and coastal inundation will lead to gradual land loss, and episodic flooding and permafrost melt will contribute to increasingly marginalized land, all of which may contribute to migration and/or require resettlement. Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns will lead to relative changes in agricultural production, possibly spurring rural to urban migration, or migration across borders to seek more favorable conditions.