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Extreme Heat and Migration

The impacts of climate change on global temperatures profoundly affect people’s ability to sustain their livelihoods as well as their health; both of these dimensions in turn influence the migration of people. Indeed, increasing heat related to climate change is likely to result in more disruptive events, such as frequent droughts, wildfires, episodes of extreme temperatures and heat waves. Such events are already directly and indirectly displacing large numbers of people each year and likely to lead to the migration of more people in the future. 
For the first time, this IOM infosheet explores the links between extreme heat and migration and provides an overview of the challenges faced, as well as possible ways to address them.

The purpose of this document is to explore the existing and potential linkages between “very strong heat stress” and continuation of daily life on the one hand, and migration on the other. Knowledge has advanced over the past five years on climate change, heat increase and extreme heat exposure, while issues related to climate migration in all its forms (voluntary migration, forced displacement and planned relocation) are being increasingly studied and understood.
However, the heat-migration nexus is only just starting to be understood, and this report aims to call attention to – and encourage action on – the complex interrelations between very strong heat stress due to climate change and migration. This document first outlines some key facts on extreme heat increase, human exposure and impacts on daily life; then explores the relation between climate change and migration; and finally recommends areas for further research and collaboration across scientific communities.
Our objective is to bring together the two different dimensions of the heat-migration nexus by:
(a) calling the attention of the migration community on how increase in strong heat will impact the mobility of exposed communities, and encouraging early consideration of the multiple migration management challenges and opportunities ahead of us; and

(b) bringing the migration dimension to the attention of the scientific communities, such as climate change and health researchers, notably regarding the challenges faced by migrants and their communities confronted with the adverse impacts of climate change.

What is at stake?Which regions are most at risk?What are the links between heat, climate change and migration?Who are the environmental migrants?How can these challenges be addressed?

Read the infosheet " Extreme Heat and Migration "

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