The Impact of Temperature Increases on Global Refugee Migration

Authors: Tate Smith*, TCU
Topics: Political Geography, Global Change
Keywords: Political Geography, Climate Change, Global Warming, Migration, Refugees
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since 2001, there have been increases in both global mean temperatures and the total number of refugees worldwide. Given the risks of anthropomorphic climate change, this project focuses on the global displacement of people. This project uses publicly available refugee data obtained from the United Nations and climatological data from NASA for the years 2001-2017. The risks of climate change increasing global refugee migration is well documented. My research aims to determine if there is any correlation between global refugee figures and global mean temperatures. No direct connection is implied, indirect causation on refugee migration relates to the impact of global warming, including prolonged draught, crop failures, extreme weather events, and accelerated political instability. I used two coefficient methods: the Pearson Correlation Coefficient, and the R^2 linear trendline to determine a relationship between the two datasets. The results indicate that there is a clear correlation between these two figures, and the difference in the rate of change of the two variables, or the percent error, is minor. This result indicates that climate change is already related to some of the movement of refugees worldwide and suggests that future increases in global temperatures could result in additional numbers of global refugees. Further research intends to connect resource-scarcity and conflict driven by increases in global mean temperatures.

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