It's already happening. Our world is being divided into countries from which people are fleeing and countries to which they're fleeing. These people doing the fleeing are climate migrants, people forced out of their homelands by impacts such as water shortages, agriculture collapse or sea level rise.
The world's governments and relief agencies need to plan now to resettle millions of people expected to be displaced by climate change, an international panel of experts said on Thursday.
Resettlement related to large infrastructure development projects has been occurring for decades, with some estimates of up to 10 million people a year, said the report's lead author, Alex de Sherbinin.
Planning for millions of refugees will be challenging, but it is vastly better than the alternative, de Sherbinin said by telephone from The Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York.
"Are we just going to respond to the next 911 (emergency) call that comes out, or are we going to actually anticipate some of these things and in so doing hopefully avert the 911 call to some extent and maybe save some money in the process?" he said.
Some countries, such as the United States, face a potential double-whammy of coping with internally displaced Americans needing relocation from drought or inundation areas while simultaneously dealing with massive illegal migration from Central Americans forced out of their homelands.