Estimating the Impact of Climate Change on Global Migration

Solomon Hsiang - University of California, Berkeley
Wed, Mar 13 2024, 2:30pm - 4:00pm PDT
GSB Patterson Building, Room P106
663 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford

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Joint Applied Micro Seminar
Co-authors: Suraj Nair, Guanghua Chi, Nicholas Depsky and Joshua Blumenstock

The extent to which climate change is likely to impact global migration remains widely debated with little convergence across studies. A central limitation to prior work has been the limited quality, granularity, and scope of existing migration data. Here, we overcome this challenge by using social media data to observe the migration patterns of 2.3 billion individuals across the planet. Combining these data with historical climate data, we study the effect of long-term average temperature and rainfall on recent patterns of global migration. Using these empirical estimates, in conjunction with climate model projections, we estimate a range of plausible future impacts of human-caused climate change on migration during the twenty-first century.