Research investigations link extreme weather to migration
A new Charles Darwin University (CDU) project will explore how extreme weather events impact where Australians choose to live and how this migration could have consequences for service provision, infrastructure planning, disaster management and more.
Associate Professor Christine Zander and Associate Professor Andrew Taylor from CDU’s Northern Institute, and Professor Mamoun El-Azab from CDU’s Faculty of Science and Technology were recently awarded $351,000 through the Australian Research Council’s Discover 2024 project to conduct the study.
The project’s goal is to understand the relationship between population dynamics and extreme weather events.
“We aim to assess whether and to what extent different extreme climate events have influenced where people choose to live,” Professor Zander said.
“By looking at historical data collected by the census and climate data, we intend to build a model that can determine where people will move as the climate changes. Predicting human mobility under different climate risk scenarios in Australia will allow planners to prepare for changes – where to build a new school, or Health facilities, or somewhere to provide additional support so people can stay where they are.”
Associate Professor Zander said that as weather events became more severe, it was essential to understand how society could prepare for future disasters.
“Fire, heat and drought are all linked events, and their increasing severity will be exacerbated by climate change,” she said.
“It is too late to avoid the impacts – we must start adapting. Some people are adapting by moving away from areas they believe have become too hot or too risky to live in. This could have wide-ranging consequences for urban and regional planning. While The impacts may not be imminent, the pace of these events appears to be accelerating, and we need to rethink adaptation and demographic change now, otherwise it will be too late and too costly.
“For too long, the dire consequences of climate change and radical responses such as migration from uninhabitable areas have been dismissed as too far in the future to worry about.
“We are only beginning to understand how adaptation to unbearable heat and other natural hazards is changing our society and what we can do to help people adapt. We want our research to help this process. And there is no better way to establish a research database than Darwin.” Hot and humid.”
CDU Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation Professor Steve Rogers congratulated the researchers on their funding success.
Professor Rogers said: “This project is one of many that demonstrate the commitment of leading researchers at Charles Darwin University to tackling real-world challenges and contributing to solutions.”
“We are committed to producing relevant, important, high-quality research that will make an impact and support our community.”
The project will start from 2024 for a period of three years.
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