The Government Office for Science today begins its latest Foresight project examining how future environmental change could affect human migration in the long term around the world.
A growing, urbanising global population over the next 50 years will create demand for more food, energy and water. Many modern ‘megacities’ are located in coastal areas or river deltas, which are vulnerable to flooding and sea-level rise. Changes to the climate could lead to reduced crop productivity in many regions, desertification and increased levels of water scarcity. A wealthier population will mean substantially greater demand for food, which must be produced from the same land area, with fewer inputs, at the same time as coping with climate impacts and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This threatens to create a ‘perfect storm’ of global events.
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