"Continued climate change will drive Mexican farm workers to migrate to the United States in greater numbers, environmental experts predicted on Monday.
For every 10 percent of lost crop yields, 2 percent more Mexicans will leave and most will try to come to the United States, Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University in New Jersey and colleagues predicted.
The study touches on two extremely sensitive U.S. political issues -- immigration and climate change.
"It has been well established that farmers do tend to want to migrate when they are not doing so well," Oppenheimer said in a telephone interview.
Oppenheimer's team looked at Mexican census data from 1995 to 2005, along with statistics on crop production and climate data. "We lined up the climate changes, the crop production changes ... with the census data, which allowed us to infer the emigration rate," he said."