Tropical conflicts double during El Niño years.
Natural climate cycles seem to have a striking influence on war and peace around the equator. Tropical countries face double the risk of armed conflict and civil war breaking out during warm, dry El Niño years than during the cooler La Niña phase of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), according to an analysis published today [2011-08-24] in Nature.
The study throws light on the hotly contested issue of whether climate change has any notable effect on violence and societal stability, particularly in poor countries. The authors of several popular books have previously proposed a link, but there are disagreements within the scientific literature over whether a robust climate signal can be detected in conflict statistics.
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