NewEnergyNews: The Climate Crisis Exodus From The Dry Corridor

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    Friday, August 02, 2019

    The Climate Crisis Exodus From The Dry Corridor

    'People are dying': how the climate crisis has sparked an exodus to the US

    Nina Lakhani, 29 July 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “… Central America remains one of the world’s most dangerous regions outside a warzone, where a toxic mix of violence, poverty and corruption has forced millions to flee their homes and head north in search of security…But amid a deepening global climate crisis, drought, famine and the battle for dwindling natural resources are increasingly being recognized as major factors in the exodus…[Central America’s dry corridor is] a belt stretching south through Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, that receives little rain and is particularly susceptible to droughts and extreme weather

    …In theory, the rainy season here should last from late April to October, with a drier period in July and August known as the canícula – a regional peculiarity that requires two short harvests…But the past decade has seen frequent, intense droughts and late rains due to unusually hot and dry canículas and prolonged years of El Niño – the warm phase of a complex weather cycle caused by increased Pacific surface temperatures…The current run of hot, dry years follows a decade or so of unusually prolonged rains and flooding due to the other phase of the cycle known as La Niña, caused by colder Pacific waters…

    …[T]he impact has been devastating. In 2018, drought-related crop failures directly affected one in 10 Guatemalans, and caused extreme food shortages for almost 840,000 people…As a result, entire families have been migrating in record numbers: since October 2018, more than 167,000 Guatemalans travelling in family groups have been apprehended at the US border, compared with 23,000 in 2016…Those who remain, often depend on money sent home by emigres, especially in rural areas, which received more than half the $9.2bn of remittances sent to Guatemala in 2018…

    [But] el niño is back and the outlook for 2019 is grim: about 2 million people in the dry corridor will need urgent food aid…Local political factors are also important. Water shortages and poverty are causally linked to the country’s skewed land distribution: roughly 2% of the population control 70% of all productive farmland…Forests mitigate climate change, but Guatemala has lost half its woodlands in the past 40 years – and deforestation rates are rising, in turn causing floods, landslides and erosion of farmland…This has led to less work, lower pay and more hunger…” click here for more

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