At the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) veteran, retired meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls flatly dismisses the assertion made by many leading officials that climate change is a driving force behind the wave of refugees now sweeping into Europe from the Middle East and Africa.
German Meterologist Klaus-Eckart Puls. Photo: EIKE
Germany Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks recently blamed the refugee crisis on climate change, and urged countries to commit themselves to a binding Treaty in Paris with renewed vigor. Puls responded at EIKE.
Puls reminds us that even the IPCC has found no basis to support the claim. A number of skeptics view the claim as a desperate stretch designed to divert attention away from the real reasons: abject social and foreign policy failure. Recently the IPCC backed off from the speculative claims of climate driven refugees.
Puls writes that the “UN IPCC took back its analyses and prognoses on climate refugees in its last 2013/14 report” and that “the steppes and deserts are in fact ‘greening'”. At EIKE he provides the following chart which clearly shows that Africa is greening and that it is all part of a natural cycle:
Chart depicting Sahel Zone June-October precipitation from 1950 to 2010. Source K.E. Puls
Last weekend meteorologist Joe Bastardi showed that also in Syria precipitation has been on the rise over the past few years.
The UN told SPIEGEL ONLINE that it is backing off its prognosis – in countries of the alleged danger zones populations are in fact growing. The corresponding prognosis has been removed from the UNEP site.”
That particular UN backpedaling incident took place back in 2011. Puls also writes that the latest UN IPCC 2013 report also distanced itself from the projections, seeing no scientific relationship. The claim that climate change is driving the refugee waves appears totally baseless and highly speculative.
The seasoned German meteorologist also cites a recent paper by Colorado University-Boulder geography professor John O’Loughlin on the subject. The paper concludes:
While a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder shows the risk of human conflict in East Africa increases somewhat with hotter temperatures and drops a bit with higher precipitation, it concludes that socioeconomic, political and geographic factors play a much more substantial role than climate change.”
Puls summarizes in his commentary:
When Ms. Hendriks makes up stories of climate refugees, it is all about her private Weltanschauung. It has nothing to do with reality – and also nothing to do with the statements of the IPCC because the IPCC finds no climate refugees, and even writes this (AR5 2013/14). The UNO/UNEP deleted such claims (made in 2005) from its website! The waves of refugees have many reasons – climate is not among them!”