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A Honduran migrant caravan heading to the U.S., as it is stopped at a border barrier on the Guatemala-Mexico international bridge in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas state, Mexico, on Oct. 19. PEDRO PARDO / AFP / Getty Images

Why the Migrant Caravan Story Is a Climate Change Story

By Todd Miller

Less than a mile south of the U.S.-Mexico border, in Sasabe, Mexico, a Guatemalan man named Giovanni (whose first name is used to protect his undocumented status) propped up his feet while an EMT applied antibiotic ointment to his feet in the shade of a cottonwood. Giovanni left his home country because of a catastrophic drought and was attempting to unite with his brothers who were already in Dallas. After trying to cross the border into the Arizona desert, his feet were ravaged: discolored, covered in gashes and tender red blisters. One toenail had been ripped off. Across the arroyo or dry wash, were about 30 more prospective border crossers, primarily Guatemalan, some awaiting a similar medical checkup, others stocking up on water and food.

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A woman carries fresh drinking water at Noyapara, Jamalpur, Bangladesh. Jamalpur is a northern district of Bangladesh surrounded by river Yamuna and Brahmaputra and very close to India's Assam border. Recent rising temperature melted the Meghalay and the Assam's water floats towards Bangladesh through Jamalpur. Yamuna's water level have crossed 118cm more than the danger line. At this moment, 400k people are displaced and floating in the water as there are no disaster refugee camp. Its hard to access, for what relief aren't available. If there is, there is a huge mismanagement from local government. Due to the scarcity of medical team, children's are facing water related disease. Anik Rahman / NurPhoto / Getty Images

UN Pact Acknowledges Climate Migration for the First Time

The final draft of a UN compact on migration published July 11 recognized the existence of climate refugees specifically for the first time, The Thomson Reuters Foundation reported Thursday.

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Politics
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez Becomes Most Ambitious Climate Democrat After Surprise Primary Win

After what CNN called a surprise primary victory Tuesday over 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just became the leading Democrat on fighting climate change, The Huffington Post reported.

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Children detained at a facility in McAllen, Texas under Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. U.S. Customs and Border Control

Trump Penalizes Migrants Fleeing Climate Crisis He Ignores

The impacts of climate change do not respect international borders. If they did, it wouldn't be the case that the countries who have done the least to contribute to global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to suffer disproportionately from their effects.

But as climate refugees begin to flee deteriorating conditions, they are already finding that borders very much apply to them.

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Flooding in the haor of Bangladesh in 2010. Balaram Mahalder / CC BY-SA 3.0

Growing Number of Bangladeshis Flee Rising Waters

By Kieran Cooke

As another monsoon season begins, huge numbers of homeless Bangladeshis are once again bracing themselves against the onslaught of floods and the sight of large chunks of land being devoured by rising water levels.

Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal, is low-lying and crisscrossed by a web of rivers: two thirds of the country's land area is less than five meters (approximately 16 feet) above sea level. With 166 million people, it's one of the poorest and most densely populated countries on Earth—and one of the most threatened by climate change.

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Wave-driven flooding and overwash on Roi-Namur Atoll. Peter Swarzenski / U.S. Geological Survey

Climate Change Could Displace Half a Million Atoll Residents Within Decades

A new study published in Science Advances Wednesday has bad news for the residents of low-lying atolls: If current greenhouse gas emission rates continue, climate change will render most of these islands uninhabitable by mid-century, not by the end of the century as previously believed.

This could turn the more than half a million people who live on atolls into climate refugees, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

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UNAMID provided emergency aid for displaced people in Mellit, North Darfur on April 6, 2014. Hamid Abdulsalam, UNAMID / Flickr

Climate Is a 'Threat Multiplier' But Not Primary Cause of East African Conflict and Displacement, Study Finds

While there are predictions that climate change will displace masses of people in the near future—an Environmental Justice Foundation study reported on by The Guardian put the number in the tens of millions within the next decade—some have indicated that the climate refugee crisis has already begun.

The Syrian civil war has been linked to a massive drought in the region, and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the conflict in Darfur one of "the first climate wars" in 2007.

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First Study on Climate Change and Internal Migration: World Bank Finds 140 Million Could Be Displaced by 2050

Much of the discussion around climate refugees has focused on movement between countries, with the Syrian refugee crisis serving as a chilling preview of the global exodus to come.

But a new report released by the World Bank on Monday honed in on the problem of internal displacement, finding that as many as 140 million people in three densely-populated, developing regions might be forced by climate change to migrate within their countries' borders by 2050. It is the first report to focus on the impact of climate change on intra-country migration specifically, The Guardian reported.

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United Nations Development Program Bangladesh

UN and Bangladeshi Government Team Up to Help Women Adapt to Climate Change

Bangladesh was No. 6 on the Long Term Climate Risk Index of countries most affected by climate change from 1997 to 2016. The United Nations contents that climate change disproportionately impacts women, since they are more likely to be poor and dependent on local resources.

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