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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new study concludes that rising temperatures have trimmed rural-to-urban migration within very poor nations while slightly increasing it in middle-income countries.

Why it matters: The analysis, released via the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides a deeper understanding about how warming has already begun affecting human movement — and will in the future.

The impact: "We project that expected warming in the next century will encourage further urbanization in middle-income countries such as Argentina, but it will slow down urban transition in poor countries like Malawi and Niger."

What they did: Researchers with UC Davis and the University of Idaho looked at migration data for huge numbers of relatively small geographic "cells" worldwide from 1970 to 2000.

  • They combined it with other data on temperatures, population and precipitation in the same regions.
  • They broke up countries into 3 wide groups: nations in the bottom 25% of per capita GDP, the middle 50%, and the top 25%.

What they found: The middle-income group showed the most internal migration to cities. A big takeaway: Declines in rural productivity, including lower crop yields stemming from climate change, have different effects on poor vs. middle-income nations.

  • Why? They see a vicious cycle in very poor places: Hotter temperatures cut rural productivity, making migration costs even less feasible.
  • "On the other hand, rising temperatures increase out-migration from rural areas in middle-income countries because temperature shocks widen the rural-urban income gaps, which work to strengthen individuals’ incentives to migrate, once they can pay for migration costs," the study states.

Go deeper: Youth protests sweep the globe demanding action on climate change

Go deeper

QAnon faces the music

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Supporters of former President Donald Trump who thought he was about to stop the inauguration, seize power and crush his enemies were left blinking in the sunlight Wednesday as President Biden took the oath of office.

Why it matters: It's an inflection point for anyone who realizes they've been strung along by QAnon and related strands of pro-Trump magical thinking. They could either retreat from conspiracy theories or tumble deeper down the rabbit hole.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden has arrived at the White House and he will sign executive orders and other presidential actions.

51 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.