Climate is an abstract concept, a statistical summary of the atmosphere over a prolonged period of time. Climate change takes the even more abstract form of the difference in statistical properties of the atmosphere from one long period of time to another. As a result, people and society are not and never will be directly affected by climate change; rather their lives and livelihoods are impacted by manifestations of the climate system, such as a lack of rain or a heat wave. Moreover, society’s primary interactions with climate tend to occur via third parties, climate sensitive activities, such as tourism or climate sensitive commodities such as crop yields. The state of these activities and commodities not only reflect the state of atmospheric variables but any number of socio-economic, political and cultural factors which are often totally unrelated to atmospheric conditions. It is within this arena of abstractness and nonlinearity that the concept of climate change induced migration sits.

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