Acceleration of drought in Mexico accelerating illegal immigration?

That's the startling argument advanced by Thomas Elias in today's Ventura County Star:

a new study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appears to establish a coming (and possibly a present) link between global warming and illegal immigration from Mexico,..the study led by atmospheric science Prof. Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University and co-written by scientists from China’s Shanghai University and the U.S. Treasury Department, the more global warming dries out farms and water supplies in Mexico, the more Mexicans will head to this country.

The Oppenheimer study predicts anywhere between 1.4 million and 6.7 million current Mexican farmers and farmworkers will emigrate north between now and 2080 solely because their farmlands become too parched to produce.

Here's the study: Linkages among climate change, crop yields, and Mexico US cross-border migration

Haven't yet had a chance to read it, but Oppenheimer will be speaking in about a week at the AGU Fall Meeting: I Will attend and report on his presentation in San Francisco.
Here's a precis from the AGU:
The first annual Stephen Schneider GEC Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Dept. of Geosciences at Princeton. Prior to joining Princeton, he was Chief Scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Oppenheimer will address the issue of Scientists, Expert Judgment, and Public Policy: What is Our Proper Role?

Here he is, in a picture from Princeton. 
This talk isn't on exactly the same topic as the paper, but the point is I think that Dr. Oppenheimer has something to say. Will find out what it is. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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