Agent-based modelling of sustainable development in a changing climate: a security perspective
thesisposted on 17.02.2017, 01:21 by Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today. Numerous international reports and peer-reviewed studies have warned how vulnerable humans are, among other inhabitants of the planet, to the various adverse impacts of climate change. Chapter 1 of this thesis briefly reviews the main processes and consequences of climate change and how it is likely to affect the sustainable socio-economic development of human societies, especially through hindering security. The reasons for focusing on conflict and migration are discussed, and agent-based modelling is introduced as an appropriate approach for modelling their dynamics under different scenarios. Chapter 2, focuses on climate change and conflict attempting to provide new perspectives on a challenging debate in this area, and to address critical questions such as: Why might climate change not cause conflict and when it does, why might it not be as intense as theoretically expected? Using a generic theoretical model, the chapter investigates the circumstances in which a scarcity of resources, such as land and water, may motivate individuals to prefer predatory, conflict-inducing behaviour, to productive behaviour. The model results, which are categorized based on different types of resources, different types of resource degradation scenarios and different socio-economic structures, are compared against available data for a selected group of African countries. Chapter 3 focuses on internal migration in Bangladesh, investigating how population distribution is likely to change by 2050 based on climatic projections for the country. The chapter presents an agent-based model enriched by environmental, social and economic data from Bangladesh. The model is capable of simulating internal migrations across the country. The results, which are validated against available observations over the decade ending in 2011, predict further population shifts towards the eastern districts due to both economic and climatic push and pull factors. The thesis concludes in Chapter 4 by reviewing the main findings and providing suggestions for future research in this area.