The Groundswell Modeling Work: Lessons Learned and Work in Progress

Authors: Alex De Sherbinin*, CIESIN, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Bryan Jones, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, Kanta Kumari Rigaud, World Bank
Topics: Global Change, Human-Environment Geography, Migration
Keywords: climate change, migration, vulnerability, livelihoods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The 2018 World Bank Report Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration featured population gravity modeling work conducted by the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research in collaboration with CIESIN, Columbia University. The Bank’s interest in modeling future climate change-induced migration stemmed from its large investment portfolio in sustainable livelihoods, and a recognition that in some regions adaptation in the agricultural sector may reach limits that would induce some to migrate to more climatically favorable areas. The modeling work combined a pre-existing population gravity model that was used to project future population distributions according to the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) with projected climate impacts on crop production and water availability from the Inter-Sectoral Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). The modeling also accounted for future sea level rise and storm surge. Comparison of projected population distributions with and without climate impacts were used to estimate future migration. We will introduce the theoretical framing, empirical basis, data inputs and methodology for the modeling work, and will also present results. We will also describe work in progress to improve upon the model in different regions of Africa.

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