This paper evaluates the impact of climate change on the spatial distribution of population in New Zealand, focusing on the effects of climate on internal migration dynamics. Specifically, a gravity modelling framework is first used to identify climate variables that have statistically significant associations with internal migration. The gravity model is then embedded within a population projection model to evaluate the effect of climate scenarios on regional populations. Of the climate variables, only surface radiation in the origin exhibits a significant association with internal migration. Including this variable in the population projection model makes a small difference to the regional population distribution, and the difference between different climate scenarios is negligible. Overall, the results suggest that, while statistically significant, climate change in the form of changes in the distribution of the weather will have a negligible effect on the population distribution of New Zealand at the regional level. These null results probably reflect the high capacity for adaptation to climate change available to a developed country.
Population and Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 26, 2017
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