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  • Protesters take part in a rally held a day before the start of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, November 29, 2015.

    Protesters take part in a rally held a day before the start of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, November 29, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 December 2017

Climate change forces will influence some 41,000 people to migrant to the United States over the next 50 years.

Several studies indicate that climate change is becoming a significant driver in migration from Mexico to the United States.

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A recent University of California Davis study indicates that climate change forces will influence some 41,000 people to migrate to the United States over the next 50 years.

Michael Oppenheimer, the author of a 2010 study about climate and migration, projects that some 6.7 million people could arrive to the U.S. from Mexico as a result of global warming by 2080. 

Both conclude that as global temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change, arid regions, particularly like those in northern and southern Mexico, will become more drought prone, making it difficult for farmers to yield a crop and forcing them to move north.

Oppenheimer, also a professor at Princeton University, admits that many factors contribute to a person’s decision to move, but that climate change oftens plays a strong role. He said that high temperatures and reduced rainfall — signs of climate change — have influenced people from Mexico to relocate in the U.S. in the past due to their subsequent reduction of food and income in their home country.

"More hot days in rural Mexico, predicted by the major climate models, will increase migration out of rural Mexico, including to the U.S.," said Ed Taylor, a development economist at the University of California at Davis and co-author of the 2016 migration study.


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