Towards attributing climate-related displacement in Somalia to anthropogenic climate change

Thalheimer, L. (2020). Towards attributing climate-related displacement in Somalia to anthropogenic climate change. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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Abstract

Extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and floods pose risks to the environment and human societies. In East Africa, these events are well-known, reoccurring climate phenomena; however, their impacts and intensity vary across the region and require further study. The East African country of Somalia is highly vulnerable to climatic variability due to its geographic location, which in turn often leads to devastating droughts and floods. The climate impact on human wellbeing and livelihoods is further exacerbated by the absence of a central government coupled with poverty and civil conflict that can escalate – as currently seen – to famine-level situations and large-scale involuntary human mobility. Yet, the extent to which human mobility (measured by internal displacement) can be attributed to extreme weather events and in turn, whether and to what extent extreme weather events and consequently human mobility can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change, has been largely unexplored. Applying a framework based on probabilistic event attribution of extreme weather events, this paper, for the first time, investigates human mobility responses attributed to anthropogenic climate change, exemplifying the state of the art of this method in the context of the East African region. The study shows no attributable link of the April 2020 flood in Somalia (our case study) to anthropogenic climate change. Sparcity of climate observations reveal one of many reasons for a lack of a climate change signal.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
World Population (POP)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 06:10
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2021 03:00
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17149

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