The full consequences of the climate crises remains one of speculation although many authorities have sufficient data to make educated informed guesses.
ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia said in a report that he growing impacts of climate change have already pushed more than 18 million people to migrate within South Asian countries, but that could more than triple in three decades if global warming continues on its current path, researchers warned on Friday.
63 million people could be forced from their homes by 2050 in the region as rising seas and rivers swallow villages, and drought-hit land no longer supports crops. Many will head from rural areas to towns and cities in their own countries, in search of work, he said. There they often end up living in slum areas exposed to flooding and with very limited access to social services, doing precarious jobs in the informal economy such as rickshaw-pulling, construction labouring or sweat-shops. The projection does not include those who will be forced to flee sudden disasters such as floods and cyclones and so is likely an under-estimate. It builds on research published in 2018 by the World Bank, which said unchecked climate change could cause more than 140 million people to move within their countries' borders by 2050 in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. The new report, which used an updated version of the same methodology, raises the original 2050 projection for South Asian migration by about half, adding in new data on sea level rise, as well as the effects of ecosystem losses and droughts.
Harjeet Singh, global climate lead at ActionAid said the situation could become "catastrophic".
"Policy makers in the Global North and the Global South are not yet waking up to this reality," Singh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "They are not realising the scale of the problem, and how we are going to deal with it."
The new figures show the largest number of people are expected to migrate by 2050 in India, at more than 45 million. But the country with the sharpest projected rise in migration is Bangladesh, with a seven-fold increase from today.
People are already been hit by worsening climate pressures.