Department of Computational Social Science Seminar Abstract

Friday, April 22 - 3:00 pm

Climate Change, Migration and Land Use Dynamics: A Spatial Agent Based Approach

Atesmachew Hailegiorgis
PhD Student, CSS
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: The consequence of climate change is expected to have a large impact on people’s livelihoods, especially in most developing countries, as their economy is highly dependent on climate sensitive agricultural system. Hence, there is growing concern that shift in climate could exacerbate vulnerabilities and will eventually result in large number of population movement and land use changes. However, some studies indicated that shift in climate alone should not be considered as the main factor for the current migration dynamics as migration decisions are multifaceted, context specific and mainly influenced by individual actions. Given the uncertainties about climate change and its consequences on migration, further studies are needed to better explore the nexus between climate change, migration and land use dynamics. Agent-based modeling is a useful tool for simulating the behavioral responses of individuals to climate change and land use dynamic because it allows representation of not only the dynamic changes in climate and land uses but also the dynamic adaptive process and decision making of individuals at different spatial and temporal scales. In this presentation, I will present the current modeling efforts and the gaps that exist on these efforts, argue the relevance of studying the linkage between climate change, migration and land use dynamics, and finally will propose a spatial agent based conceptual model that captures the linkage between climate change, migration and land use dynamics.