Climate Change Facts - Human Impacts
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  • There are an estimated 25-30 million climate refugees. Numbers may increase to 200 million, or up to 1 billion, by 2050.
  • Nepal’s first “climate refugee village” of 150 people is being resettled due to climate change-induced water shortage. (July 2010)


  • The US intelligence community considers global warming as a serious security threat. Top US intelligence analyst Thomas Fingar indicated that floods and droughts will soon cause mass migrations and unrest in many parts of the world. (2010)
  • Evidence points to global warming as a primary cause of the violence in Darfur. (Atlantic Monthly, 2007)


  • Warmer temperatures are causing the spread of malaria, Bluetongue virus, West Nile virus, dengue fever, and other diseases to reach millions more people never before exposed to them, in higher latitudes or on new continents.
  • An additional 400 million people could be exposed to malaria by 2080 due to climate change. (UN)
  • More respiratory diseases (like asthma) and mental illnesses (related to disasters) are expected with global warming.


  • Climate change disasters are already responsible for some 315,000 deaths a year, with another 325 million people severely affected. (Global Humanitarian Forum , 2009)

  • Half the world’s population will face serious food shortages within the century. (University of Washington researchers, in Science, 2009)   
  • Harvests already distressed by drought or floods in Russia, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Ukraine, Pakistan, etc. (Sept 2010)
  • Food prices rose 5% globally in August 2010. In Mozambique, food riots in response to raised bread prices led to 10 fatalities and 300 injuries. (Sept 2010)
  • High food prices that sparked deadly 2008 food riots worldwide were due to a combination of climate change and increased demand for animal feed from populations in India and China. (UN World Food Program)
  • The number of people suffering from hunger exceeded 1 billion for the first time in 2009.
  • Over 9 million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition. Five million are children.


  • The world's rivers are in a “crisis state” on a global scale. Water supplies for nearly 80% of the world’s populations are highly threatened. Nearly a third of sources studied are also highly jeopardized by biodiversity loss. (US researchers Professor Peter McIntyre of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and City College of New York modeler Charles Vörösmarty)
  • Recent regional reports on water shortage:
    • The Middle East’s water supply has shrunk to a quarter of its 1960 level. (Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), 2010) The Tigris and Euphrates rivers dropped to less than a third of their normal levels due to drought. (UN Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit (IAU))
    • UK’s increasingly hotter, drier summers could cause extreme water shortages as river flows are reduced by 80%. (Britain’s Government Office for Science, 2010)
  • Sources of groundwater for wells, which support half our world’s population, are running dry. (Lance Endersbee, Monasy University, Australia)  
  • 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. (World Health Organization, 2005)

  1. Reed, S. Environment and Security (2007, August). Climate Institute. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  2. Shah, A. (2010, June 1). Nepal’s First Climate Refugee Village in Mustang. Nepali Times 511. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  3. Sharma, D. (2010, July 12). Climate refugees in Mustang. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  4. Romm, J. (2010, November 11). Veterans Day, 2030. Climate Progress blog. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  5. Warrick, J. and Pincus, W. (2008, September 10). Reduced Dominance Is Predicted for U.S. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  6. Romm, J. (2007, March 11). The Real Roots of Darfur: Climate Change. An article on Atlantic Monthly report. Climate Progress blog. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  7. Sachs, J.D. (2008, February). Crisis in the Drylands. Scientific American [Electronic edition]. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  8. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (2009, February 9). Role Of Climate Change In Disease Spread Examined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  9. Kenya Medical Research Institute [KEMRI] (2010, January 4). Warmer temperatures spreading malaria in Afric. The Ecologist. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  10. ibid.
  11. Climate Change and Public Health (2009, December 14). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  12. Sohn, E. (2010, December 10). Mental Health to Decline With Climate Change. Discovery News. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  13. Rowling, M. (2009, May 29). Climate change causes 315,000 deaths a year. An article on Global Humanitarian Forum study. Reuters. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  14. Stricherz, V. (2009, January 8). Half of world’s population could face climate-induced food crisis by 2100. University of Washington News. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  15. MacFarquhar, N. (2010, September 3). U.N. Raises Concerns as Global Food Prices Jump. The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  16. ibid.
  17. Choursina, K. and Krasnolutska, D. (2009, September 28). Drought Threatens Ukraine’s Winter Crops, Weather Center Says. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  18. Pakistan floods cause ‘huge losses’ to crops (2010, August 12). BBC. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  19. Borger, J. (2008, February 26). Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits. An article on UN World Food Program statement. The Guardian. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  20. Rowling, M. (2009, Mar 27). World’s hungry exceed 1 billion, U.N. tells Financial Times. AlertNet. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  21. Shah, A. (2010, October 3). Causes of Hunger are related to Poverty. Global Issues. etrieved January 11, 2011 from
  22. Devitt, T. (2010, September 29). Report casts world’s rivers in ‘crisis state’. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from ;
  23. AFP (2010, September 29). ‘River crisis’ worsens threat of water scarcity - study. France 24. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  24. Lyon, A. (2010, November 14). Arab world among most vulnerable to climate change. Reuters. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  25. ibid.
  26. Webster, B. (2010, february 26). Climate change report sets out an apocalyptic vision of Britain. The Times. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  27. Gray, L. (2010, February 26). Land management in UK must change to cope with climate change. The Telegraph. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  28. Press Association (2010, february, 26). Britain’s green spaces under threat from water shortages and house prices. The Guardian. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from
  29. UN, World Health Organization [WHO] (2005). Facsheet On Water and Sanitation. Retrieved January 11, 2011 from

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