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Faced with rising temperatures, people may seek asylum

A young boy in the desert surrounding the refugee camp in Touloum, Chad. Photo: Orjan F. Ellingvag / Dagens Naringsliv / Corbis via Getty Images

Some experts are concerned climate change will drive massive migrations as people are displaced from their homes, and it may already be happening. In a study published today in Science, researchers try to quantify how many people move from where to where under what conditions. They looked at asylum applications into the European Union and the weather in people's country of origin and found that as temperatures rose there, so did the number of people seeking asylum.

The context: It's timely — the U.S. Department of Defense has called climate change a "threat multiplier" and the defense authorization bill signed by President Trump last week acknowledges climate change as a "direct threat to the national security of the United States." Yet that view is noticeably absent from the president's National Security Strategy unveiled earlier this week.