Sea-level rise in the U.S. won’t only affect people living on the coasts—as homes flood in Florida and New Jersey, it may trigger mass migration inland, potentially making housing more expensive and jobs harder to find in other areas. A new study uses AI to map where people may go.

“We realized that while existing research has studied the effects of sea-level rise on coastal populations, it hasn’t considered the farther-reaching effects,” says lead author Caleb Robinson, a doctoral scholar at Georgia Tech who is currently doing research at USC. “In our study, we really aim to get at the indirect effects that sea-level rise can have through migration.”

Around 13 million Americans could be forced to move by the end of the century if the sea level rises six feet, headed in large numbers to the Midwest and cities like Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. The study looked at projections for sea-level rise and population growth, and then trained a machine-learning model using data about where people moved after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. While another previous study did also predict climate migration, it was based partly on how people move under normal circumstances. The new work is designed to come closer to what happens when people are fleeing the effects of climate change. “We really believe that dynamics when it’s forced migration, versus business as usual migration, will be different,” says Bistra Dilkina, a computer science professor at USC and one of the authors of the paper.

Read the full article about communities that will feel the effects of sea-level rise by Adele Peters at Fast Company.