As Tengger Desert Encroaches, China Resettles New “Ecological Migrants”

Not far from Beijing, China’s northern desert regions are moving into villages as the state moves millions

Global warming is driving the desertification of northern China at an annual rate of approximately 1,300 sq mi per year. Based on the most recent research, China is now about 20% desert, with 21,000 square miles more arid wasteland that it did 40 years ago. According to satellite data, the Tengger is slowly merging with two other deserts in the north, which will result in a vast mega desert. The extended drought in the area is expected to worsen as global warming takes its toll.

The most compelling manifestation of the changing climate are the sand storms that sweep through the region beginning in the spring. As they move east, the clouds of displaced soil and dust regularly blacken the skies of Beijing. They have begun moving east into Korea, Japan and the Western US. Life in the region, always difficult, may become impossible in the foreseeable future.

This catastrophe, along with the desertification of part of Africa, the American West, Southern Europe, Spain, Australia, and South America, is generating the beginning of the predicted climate refugee epidemic that has long been predicted. China has already resettled hundreds of thousands, with mixed results. Along with the refugees will come resource wars.

Not even the massive resources and resolve of the Chinese government to implement large scale social and topographical engineering feats can prevent this onslaught.

The leading edge of the Tengger desert is about 200 miles from Beijing. For now.

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