World (The Times Groupe)- The increasing frequency of extreme weather events could turn one in three people into climate migrants in less than 50 years, a Turkish social scientist has warned.
Ankara-based Suzan Ilik Bilben, of the Migration Research Foundation, discussed climate change’s effects on vulnerable populations and future generations in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
“The number of extremely hot regions on Earth, which cover less than 1% of the planet’s surface, is projected to grow to one in five by 2070, displacing one in three people,” said Bilben, who is studying migrants and climate change for his Ph.D.
The state of farming is also becoming more difficult because of unpredictable and increasingly unstable precipitation patterns, stronger and longer-lasting heat waves, and worse droughts.
As food and water scarcity and heat waves impact communities, mass migration movements will likely become more frequent, said Bilben, who is also a research assistant at the Akdeniz University of Antalya, on the Turkish Mediterranean.
Nearly 143 million people living in hot climates in Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa will be internally displaced as climate change fuels the frequency and severity of extreme weather events.
More than 150 million people may be displaced due to sea level rise alone, said Bilben, in addition to droughts and food insecurity.
Turkey could also be the third most-affected country by climate change due to its location in the Mediterranean basin, one of the more vulnerable areas.