Science in the News[Room] - Exploring a Novel Report on Climate and Migration

July 31, 2020
DESCRIPTION: Climate is changing. Struggling people are on the move. ProPublica tries a novel mix of reporting and newsroom science to disentangle causes and effects.

Sustain What host Andy Revkin discusses this novel project with senior reporter Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, migration modeler Bryan Jones of Baruch College, climate scientist Ángel Muñoz of Columbia's Earth Institute; Patrick Keys, a geographer at Colorado State; and Louise Lief, a scholar focused on media & science.

Here's ProPublica's summary of this special reporting package, the first piece in a three-part series, which ran simultaneously on ProPublica's website and in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and was funded in part by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting:
ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine set out to model, for the first time, how climate change drives migration across state borders. In this first article for the series, grantee Abrahm Lustgarten details the model and how it predicts that migration will increase substantially as the climate changes. Droughts, crop failures, and rising sea levels will push migrants into cities and across borders, leaving wealthier countries with policy decisions that could mitigate or expedite the human suffering.

The Times package:
The ProPublica package:

Ángel Muñoz, who is at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, discusses his independent research on predicting migration from climate variability and change:

Patrick Keys of Colorado State was the lead author of "Anthropocene Risk," a highly relevant overview of the complexities and choices in gauging societal risks in an era of multifaceted social and environmental change:

Louise Lief analyzes the intersection of science and journalism. Here's her Science and Media Project:

The model developed by Bryan Jones for ProPublica is described here:'

It builds on a model used in the World Bank's 2018 Groundswell project on internal migration under climate change:

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