This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Analyzing Climate Change and Extreme Weather Event Impacts on Human Migration and Vulnerability in the Southeastern United States (2004 – 2018)




Ryan, Brandon

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




There is growing concern about how extreme environmental events and climate change will impact communities, both urban and rural, in the Southeastern United States (SEUS). A changing climate is expected to force individuals within the southeast to migrate to seek refuge from rising seas, increasing temperatures, and other environmental consequences. This study analyzes migratory trends into seven southeast United States counties: Fulton County, Georgia, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Jefferson County, Alabama, Muscogee County, Georgia, Richland County, South Carolina, Houston County, Georgia, and Lowndes County, Georgia. Particularly, if any trends indicate migration influenced by climate hazards; and if individuals are moving into more, equally, or less climatically vulnerable destinations. Moreover, this study seeks to better understand the spatial and temporal trends in climatic vulnerability throughout the contiguous United States (CONUS). The results of this study can be used to bolster destination counties [and corresponding urban areas] to have adequate resources available and the adaptive capacity to integrate displaced individuals into their communities.