Climate cycles drive civil war


Tropical conflicts double during El Niño years.

Countries where the majority of the population lives in areas that become much warmer in El Niño years (red) are more likely to experience wars than those where temperatures are less affacted (blue).

Countries where the majority of the population lives in areas that become much warmer in El Niño years (red) are more likely to experience wars than those where temperatures are less affacted (blue).

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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3 Responses to Climate cycles drive civil war

  1. Pingback: Vinculan El Niño con el aumento de conflictos civiles | RDi Press

  2. MoS says:

    Alan, one reason there will never be peace between Israel and the Palestinians is that the West Bank straddles one of three aquifers Israel considers essential to its survival. It seems that global warming is delivering both extraordinarily hot temperatures and drought conditions to the ME. Turkey and Syria, for example, are becoming more dependent on the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates, reducing the natural flows into Iraq. As a consequence, Iraq’s marsh dwellers face salination of their agricultural lands, a major threat to the continued viability of their historic homelands. They may be transformed into climate migrants.

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