Sparsh Verma, Preeti Shibu, and Neha Agnihotri
For thousands of years, humans have concentrated in a surprisingly narrow subset of Earth’s available climates, characterized by mean annual temperatures of around ∼13 °C. Depending on scenarios of population growth and warming, over the coming 50 years, 1 to 3 billion people are projected to be left outside the climate conditions that have served humanity in the past. Absent climate mitigation or migration, a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to mean annual temperatures warmer than anywhere today. (Xu et al., 2020)
Internal climate migrants are rapidly becoming the human face of climate change. By 2050—in just three regions—climate change could force more than 143 million people to move within their countries. (Kanta Kumari Rigaud et al., 2018). Our studies indicate that a substantial number of instances of climate change-induced migration are already happening across the Indian subcontinent. Often, these changes in the climate are the direct result of anthropogenic activities.
Through this study, we propose that migration is a behaviour of the system that governs how suitable a location is for long-term settlement. We propose a set of factors, called the Human Liveability Factors (HLFs for short), that influence this suitability. The impact of these factors is interpreted with a subjective lens by the inhabitants according to the means at their disposal. As the perceived “liveability” of a place falls, the inhabitants tend towards migration.
The Systems Map illustrates that these HLFs influence each other and are externally influenced by factors such as changes in population, particularly in the case of climate migrants and natural environment stressors. We also draw correlations between NDVI data of the past decade to current climate migration hotspots in the Indian subcontinent, confirming that most of these hotspots lie in regions with a significant loss in vegetation.
We illustrate the cases for Beed district in Maharashtra, India, in the present day, and the case of Mumbai, India, against the projected rise in sea level for the year 2040.
Pre-proceedings drafts are available for review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title.