A human tragedy in the climate crisis

Kamal Amakrane on protecting the millions who will be displaced as sea levels rise

The World Today
2 minute READ

Kamal Amakrane

Adjunct professor, Columbia University

The climate crisis is undeniably here, and its human face will inevitably be the forced displacement of millions of people. As global warming persists, ice caps will melt and low-lying islands will be submerged by rising sea levels.

By the end of the century this will produce a flood of displaced people on a scale that is hard to imagine.

Many island states will lose significant amounts of territory to the rising sea level. At least five –Tuvalu, the Maldives, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands – face complete submersion by 2100. It is estimated that some two million people will be affected by this tragedy.

Tuvalu, a nation of some 12,000 people, will become uninhabitable by 2050 – if not much earlier – making it the first nation state to disappear due to climate change.

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