Human Impact: A Gathering about Climate Migration

As this year’s catastrophic hurricane season has demonstrated, climate change is affecting where and how humans live. Warmer oceans and air are causing more destructive hurricanes like Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Across the US, homes and communities are facing climate threats, from intensified and prolonged wildfires in California to dramatic coastline erosion in New Jersey.

In developing countries, where populations may rely directly on their surroundings, the impact of climate change is particularly direct and dire.  Natural disasters can force whole populations to move. We can already see communities pushed out due to more gradual changes, like drought or excessive heat, lack of resources or opportunities and the human conflicts that these pressures cause. The humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen were exacerbated by drought and an unprecedented tropical cyclone, respectively.

The scale of climate change-induced migration will likely be huge, yet defining who qualifies as a climate migrant and for their movement has barely begun. To help improve the climate migration dialogue Dominihosted an event during NYC Climate Week 2017 that brought together art, science, and our community. 

An exhibition of 22 works by the photojournalist and filmmaker Ed Kashi offered glimpses into the human effects and causes of climate change the world over. A member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi is recognized for his complex imagery and compelling rendering of the human condition.

The keynote talk was given by Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for science applications at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Dr. de Sherbinin is a geographer with a focus on climate change vulnerability mapping and climate change-induced migration. His full remarks and slides can be found below. The night was an exciting opportunity for our community to connect and consider this complicated problem and the people it affects.

Read more about climate migration:

Watch the full remarks here:

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