Photo via Shutterstock

After news broke last week that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have officially passed the 400 parts per million mark, a leading economist and researcher warned that hundreds of millions of people will become climate refugees in the coming decades. The head of Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Lord Stern warned that mass migrations will occur as a result of climate change, which will exacerbate desertification and cause entire continents to experience crop failure.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
climate refugees, climate change, Lord Stern Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, news, 400ppm carbon dioxide levels, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, desertification, environmental news, rising temperatures, crop failure, armed conflict from climate change
Photo via Shutterstock

Stern told The Guardian that temperatures are expected to rise by as much as 5C in some places during the next few decades, which will cause cataclysmic changes that will affect fauna, flora and humanity.

“Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however,” he said.

“That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth.”

Carbon dioxide emissions have poured into the atmosphere unabated for decades, creating a blanket effect that traps heat on earth. This combined with methane emissions from the livestock industry and the accumulation of other greenhouse gases has already produced significant and worrying changes – including the melting of polar ice caps and more severe storms.

Environmentalists and scientists are naturally alarmed, especially after The Guardian released a story last week that depicted what the Arctic region looked like the last time CO2 levels were so high: the research showed sea levels that were 40 meters higher than they are now and an ice-free, sultry Arctic covered in tundra forest.

Despite these serious concerns, the Keystone XL Pipeline project, considered by most scientists to be a ticking bomb for climate change, is still on the table and the uptake of clean energy is far slower than it needs to be.

Via The Guardian