Giving Compass' Take:
- Linda Poon describes how migration data can help us understand how climate migrants move across the U.S.
- How can migration data improve to help policymakers prepare for the future? What role can you play in supporting systems change to support climate migrants?
- Read more about the challenges that climate migrants face.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita swept through Louisiana in 2005, cities like Houston, Dallas, and Baton Rouge took in hundreds of thousands of displaced residents—many of whom eventually stayed in those cities a year later. Where evacuees have moved since hasn’t been closely tracked, but data from those initial relocations are helping researchers predict how sea level rise might drive migration patterns in the future.
Climate experts expect some 13 million coastal residents in the U.S. to be displaced by the end of this century. A new PLOS One study gives some indication of where climate migrants might go.
“A lot of cities not at risk of sea of level rise will experience the effect of it,” says Bistra Dilkina, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California, who led the study. “This will require an adjustment in terms of the [increased] demand on the cities’ infrastructure.”
Dilkina and her team used migration data from the Internal Revenue Service to analyze how people moved across the U.S. between 2004 and 2014. Movement from seven Katrina and Rita-affected counties to unaffected counties between 2005 and 2006 was categorized as climate-driven migration. Researchers then combined that analysis with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projections on the effects of sea level rise on coastal counties, and trained a machine-learning model to predict where coastal populations will move when forced to leave their homes—and how that, in turn, affects the migration of non-coastal residents.
Read the full article about climate migration by Linda Poon at CityLab.