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About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 26 March 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline 18 June 2023

Modeling of climate migration and mobility began in the late 2000s with early approaches such as statistical extrapolation and agent based models, and since that time the number of efforts applying different approaches has increased significantly as the topic has gained salience in policy circles. Climate mobility spans a wide range of topics, from forced displacement due to sudden-onset events; permanent migration as an adaptation strategy to slow-onset climate processes; resilience-building efforts in origin areas that seek to provide alternatives to migration; legal and social protection of migrants; involuntary and voluntary immobility in a context of worsening climatic conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to make use of sound and empirically-based conceptual tools which can help to understand not only the complex relationship between climate and human mobility but also the cross-cutting links with other social, environmental, political and economic issues. These conceptual tools are most commonly represented by quantitative models. First of all these models seek to explain and better understand the complexity of the climate mobility issue and in some cases they also provide projections of future trends of the climate-induced human mobility. In this Research Topic, we solicit articles that represent promising and innovative pathways for modeling because they develop interesting research questions or explore interconnections between climate mobility and other relevant topics. We especially welcome contributions based on strong empirical and theoretical foundations, drawing on rigorous data collection/analysis and relevant migration theory.

The goal of this Research Topic is to advance the state of the art on climate mobility modeling through the description of modeling data inputs and methods. It is hoped that by exploring multiple modeling approaches, modelers will learn from one another, and non-modelers will better appreciate the complexities of modeling complex socio-ecological processes.

By its nature, this climate mobility modeling is multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary. The articles in the topic will cover a wide range of approaches, disciplines and cross-cutting issues related to mobility and climate change. The common denominator of the papers is clearly their focus on the modelling side. Hereafter, we report a number of dimensions according to which the different papers can be categorized.

The first dimension classifies the articles in Method papers and Perspective papers. Method papers describe in detail a specific modelling approach which is used in the climate mobility literature; they help to support replication and increase transparency in the research and modelling community. The Perspective Papers offer a more general description of the different methods, also comparing them and indicating avenues for future research; they may facilitate new collaborations in the field.

The second dimension refers to the geographical scope. We identify two broad categories: Global Assessments and Case studies (countries or regions). Integrated Assessment or General Equilibrium Models are mainly used for world-level analysis while Case studies are more often based on different kinds of statistical and spatial models.

The third dimension focuses on the type of physical climate impacts, basically slow onset and sudden onset events. Sea Level Rise (SLR) and desertification belong to the first category, extreme events are part of the second one. The different physical impacts also imply different types of migration. Forced displacement is more related to sudden onset events, voluntary permanent migration to slow onset events.

The fourth dimension distinguishes international migration, internal migration and immobility. Clearly, global models are more suitable to study international migration. In the last years some interesting modeling works on immobility (e.g. trapped populations) have emerged from the literature and papers addressing this topic are also of interest.

Finally, the fifth dimension tackles the very important aspect of Interconnections with other topics. The list of interconnected topics is long: economic inequality and performance, food and water security, gender, conflict, demographic transition, legal protection of migrants, markets and institutions. In this Research Topic we seek to cover at least some of these related topics.

Keywords: climate migration, climate mobility modelling, adaptation to climate change, human mobility, data, methods


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Modeling of climate migration and mobility began in the late 2000s with early approaches such as statistical extrapolation and agent based models, and since that time the number of efforts applying different approaches has increased significantly as the topic has gained salience in policy circles. Climate mobility spans a wide range of topics, from forced displacement due to sudden-onset events; permanent migration as an adaptation strategy to slow-onset climate processes; resilience-building efforts in origin areas that seek to provide alternatives to migration; legal and social protection of migrants; involuntary and voluntary immobility in a context of worsening climatic conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to make use of sound and empirically-based conceptual tools which can help to understand not only the complex relationship between climate and human mobility but also the cross-cutting links with other social, environmental, political and economic issues. These conceptual tools are most commonly represented by quantitative models. First of all these models seek to explain and better understand the complexity of the climate mobility issue and in some cases they also provide projections of future trends of the climate-induced human mobility. In this Research Topic, we solicit articles that represent promising and innovative pathways for modeling because they develop interesting research questions or explore interconnections between climate mobility and other relevant topics. We especially welcome contributions based on strong empirical and theoretical foundations, drawing on rigorous data collection/analysis and relevant migration theory.

The goal of this Research Topic is to advance the state of the art on climate mobility modeling through the description of modeling data inputs and methods. It is hoped that by exploring multiple modeling approaches, modelers will learn from one another, and non-modelers will better appreciate the complexities of modeling complex socio-ecological processes.

By its nature, this climate mobility modeling is multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary. The articles in the topic will cover a wide range of approaches, disciplines and cross-cutting issues related to mobility and climate change. The common denominator of the papers is clearly their focus on the modelling side. Hereafter, we report a number of dimensions according to which the different papers can be categorized.

The first dimension classifies the articles in Method papers and Perspective papers. Method papers describe in detail a specific modelling approach which is used in the climate mobility literature; they help to support replication and increase transparency in the research and modelling community. The Perspective Papers offer a more general description of the different methods, also comparing them and indicating avenues for future research; they may facilitate new collaborations in the field.

The second dimension refers to the geographical scope. We identify two broad categories: Global Assessments and Case studies (countries or regions). Integrated Assessment or General Equilibrium Models are mainly used for world-level analysis while Case studies are more often based on different kinds of statistical and spatial models.

The third dimension focuses on the type of physical climate impacts, basically slow onset and sudden onset events. Sea Level Rise (SLR) and desertification belong to the first category, extreme events are part of the second one. The different physical impacts also imply different types of migration. Forced displacement is more related to sudden onset events, voluntary permanent migration to slow onset events.

The fourth dimension distinguishes international migration, internal migration and immobility. Clearly, global models are more suitable to study international migration. In the last years some interesting modeling works on immobility (e.g. trapped populations) have emerged from the literature and papers addressing this topic are also of interest.

Finally, the fifth dimension tackles the very important aspect of Interconnections with other topics. The list of interconnected topics is long: economic inequality and performance, food and water security, gender, conflict, demographic transition, legal protection of migrants, markets and institutions. In this Research Topic we seek to cover at least some of these related topics.

Keywords: climate migration, climate mobility modelling, adaptation to climate change, human mobility, data, methods


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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