AFP - Rising seas and water shortages could displace 125 million people in South Asia by the end of the century if global warming goes unchecked, a new Greenpeace study said Wednesday.
"If greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow under the business-as-usual scenario as projected... the South Asian region could face a wave of migrants," said the report's author Sudhir Chella Rajan, a leading Indian climate change expert.
The 125 million people affected would be those living along the coasts of India and Bangladesh, the environmental group said in the report on the Greenpeace website on Wednesday.
Around 75 million people from low-lying Bangladesh would migrate to India, warned the report entitled "Blue Alert — Climate Migrants in South Asia."
The displacement would be caused "by the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, and droughts associated with shrinking water supplies and changes to the monsoon season," said Rajan, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.
The UN Development Programme has also warned that climate change would hit the world's poorest countries, raising risks of disease, destruction of traditional livelihoods and leading to huge population movements.
"We cannot wait for the inevitable to happen and hope to adapt to it," Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace's climate and energy campaigner in India, said in a statement.
Within the next 50 years, there could be more heat waves, higher summer temperatures and fewer cold winters in the at-risk region, the report warned.
, obtained via: , March 26, 2008, 11:24pm