Studies warn that global warming and sea level rise will create hundreds of millions of environmental refugees. While climate change will undoubtedly affect future migration patterns and behavior, the potential outcomes are far more complex than the environmental refugee scenario suggests. Climate and Human Migration provides a comprehensive review of how physical and human processes interact to shape migration, using simple diagrams and models to guide the researcher, policy maker, and advanced student through the climate-migration process. Climate and Human Migration applies standard concepts and theories used in climate and migration scholarship to explain how events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Dust Bowl, African droughts, and floods in Bangladesh and China have triggered migrations that haven't always fit the environmental refugee storyline. Lessons from past migrations are used to predict how future migration patterns will unfold in the face of sea level rise, food insecurity, and political instability, and to review options for policy makers.
1. An introduction to the study of climate and migration
2. Why people migrate
3. Migration in the context of vulnerability and adaptation to climatic variability and change
4. Extreme weather events and migration
5. River valley flooding and migration
6. Drought and its influence on migration
7. Mean sea level rise and its implications for migration and migration policy
8. Emergent issues in climate and migration research
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Robert McLeman is a geography professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada, a former diplomat and an award-winning teacher. He specializes in understanding how the natural environment influences the well-being of households and communities. His research investigates historical drought-related migration on the Great Plains, adaptation to climate change in remote and resource-dependent communities, drivers of modern-day settlement abandonment, and the effects of environmental events and conditions in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean on international migration to Canada. In writing this book, Dr McLeman drew his inspiration from years of scholarly research and past professional experiences. His scholarly articles on migration as an adaptation to climate are widely cited, and have featured prominently in reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Government agencies in Canada, Europe and the United States have frequently sought his advice on policy issues related to climate change, migration and security. He is a frequent contributor on environmental issues to French and English-language public radio in Canada and the United States, and enjoys teaching introductory classes and engaging the wider public in citizen science.