Climate as a risk factor for armed conflict

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People keep talking about the potential of future climate wars - but how likely are these? And are any current or historical conflicts caused by climate changes? In an analysis piece, a group of international researchers write that climate has exacerbated and affected armed conflicts to date, but it's not yet been the root cause of war. They say poor socioeconomic development and bad statesmanship are much more influential when it comes to starting wars, but the influence of climate is still tangible.

Journal/conference: Nature

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1300-6

Organisation/s: Stanford University, USA

Media Release

From: Springer Nature

Climate as a risk factor for armed conflict

Research findings on the relationship between climate and conflict are diverse and contested. Here we assess the current understanding of the relationship between climate and conflict, based on the structured judgments of experts from diverse disciplines. These experts agree that climate has affected organized armed conflict within countries. However, other drivers, such as low socioeconomic development and low capabilities of the state, are judged to be substantially more influential, and the mechanisms of climate–conflict linkages remain a key uncertainty. Intensifying climate change is estimated to increase future risks of conflict.


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