Climate change and emigration comparing “Sinking islands” and Jamaica




Berringer, A.C.S.


Climate change and emigration comparing “Sinking islands” and Jamaica



Vol, pp

1, 125-141


Miradas en movimiento


The image of “sinking islands” has become a popular way to initiate academic and policy discussions about the displacement of populations because of climate change.

This unofficial grouping usually includes islands in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean such as Tuvalu, Kiribati and Maldives. While the images this grouping conjures are dramatic, islands which are not imminently sinking will face some of the same displacement scenarios. Sinking and non-sinking island will go through similar stages of degradation due to sea level rise, and coastal areas of high islands may also become uninhabitable. This paper considers broad sea-level rise susceptibilities for all island nations, comparing the “sinking islands” to Jamaica. Understanding the common factors for all islands is necessary in order to provide adequate strategies for migration or adaptation. Islands pose a unique geo-territorial challenge for climate change adaptation; however an island does not need to be “sinking” to necessitate out migration.


Berringer, A. C. S. (2012). Climate change and emigration: comparing “sinking islands” and Jamaica. Miradas en movimiento, Special Volume Naturally Immigrants, 1, 106-120.

, , ,