ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Climate Refugees

Climate change, by displacing settled populations, is creating a new kind of refugee.

Approximately 24 million people are estimated to have been displaced so far by climate change. Some estimates envisage that by 2010 around 50 million people will be dislocated by global climate change and by 2050 this figure could exceed 150 million.

In the Sundarbans (one-third of which falls in India and two-thirds in Bangladesh), the world’s largest group of river delta islands and mangrove forests, global warming is a serious threat, as the melting Himalayan glaciers are raising river and sea levels. During the last 30 years around 80 sq km of the Sundarbans have entirely disappeared with the sea level rising at an average rate of 3.14 cm a year – much higher than the global average of 2 mm. Estimates are that 70,000 people out of the 4.1 million living in these i slands would be rendered homeless by 2020 in the Indian part of the Sundarbans.

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