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Global risk of flood-induced population displacement

Kaoru Kakinuma, Shanghai University
Michael Puma, Columbia University
Yukiko Hirabayashi, Shibaura Institute of Technology
Masahiro Tanoue, National Institute of Environmental Science
Emerson Baptista, Asian Demographic Research Institute/Shanghai University
Shinjiro Kanae, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Assessments of climate extremes on human security are one of the urgent issues in the world. Especially, floods often cause population displacements that force people to displace their residences temporally or permanently. Quantifying the patterns and mechanisms of such displacement at global scale is essential to support areas at high risk for climate-induced displacement. Here we present the global risk of flood-induced displacements by mapping potential flood exposures and observed flood-induced displacements during 2008-2013. A global river and inundation model is used to estimate the potential flood-exposed population in each country in the world. We found that countries in Africa may have high risks of floods because they have high flood-induced displacements even at low to mid-level flood exposures. Both exposures and displacements are high in Asian countries such as India, China and the Philippines. Country income levels (Gross National Income) significantly impact flood-induced displacements, high income countries have lower flood-induced displacements than low and middle income countries. We suggest that low income countries particularly in Africa face a high likelihood of flood-induced displacements and may need to improve adaptation to even small flood exposures.

Keywords: Environmental studies, Internal migration, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Inequality

See paper.

  Presented in Session 103. Human Mobility and the Environment