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Universal migration predicts human movements under climate change

Source(s):  Institute of Physics Publishing Limited (IOP)

By Simon Davies

Climate change is expected to displace millions of people through impacts like sea level rise, crop failures, and more frequent extreme weather. Yet scientists still cannot predict where these expected climate-induced migrants are likely to go in the coming decades.

A new study, published today in Environmental Research Letters, seeks to address this need by incorporating climate impacts into a universal model of human mobility.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the new approach, the study focused on the case of sea level rise (SLR) and human migration in Bangladesh, where the authors estimate that more than two million Bangladeshis may be displaced from their homes by 2100 because of rising sea levels alone.

The study, led by Columbia University, New York, used a probabilistic model combined with population, geographic, and climatic data to predict the sources, destinations, and flux of potential migrants caused by sea level rise.

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  • Publication date 12 Jun 2018

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