According to a new study by USC Computer Science Assistant Professor, Bistra Dilkina, mass migrations to inland cities could happen within decades due to sea levels rising. A similar, but smaller, situation occurred recently when Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast in 2017. The storm displaced residents as they moved inland to rebuild their lives.
Published in PLOS ONE, the study is the first to ever use Machine Learning to project migration patterns resulting from sea levels rising. It predicts that this could ripple across the country, beyond coastal areas. By 2100, 13 million people in the U.S. alone could be displaced due to rising sea levels. A mass migration is not the only effect, however. Moving inland would further affect populations by causing intense job competition, more pressure on infrastructure networks and increased housing prices. The research is hoped to get the attention of urban planners and local decision-makers, empowering them to prepare to accept displaced populations.