Should climate change trigger the upsurge in heat and rainfall that scientists predict, people may face a threat just as perilous and volatile as extreme weather — each other.
Researchers from Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley report in the journal Science that even slight spikes in temperature and precipitation have greatly increased the risk of personal violence and social upheaval throughout human history. Projected onto an Earth that is expected to warm by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, the authors suggest that more human conflict is a likely outcome of climate change.
The researchers analyzed 60 studies from a number of disciplines — including archaeology, criminology, economics and psychology — that have explored the connection between weather and violence in various parts of the world from about 10,000 BCE to the present day. During an 18-month period, the Princeton-Berkeley researchers reviewed those studies’ data — and often re-crunched raw numbers — to calculate the risk that violence would rise under hotter and wetter conditions.
They found that while climate is not the sole or primary cause of violence, it undeniably exacerbates existing social and interpersonal tension in all societies, regardless of wealth or stability. They found that 1 standard-deviation shift — the amount of change from the local norm — in heat or rainfall boosts the risk of a riot, civil war or ethnic conflict by an average of 14 percent. There is a 4 percent chance of a similarly sized upward creep in heat or rain sparking person-on-person violence such as rape, murder and assault. The researchers report that climate-change models predict an average of 2 to 4 standard-deviation shifts in global climate conditions by 2050.
Establishing a correlation between violence and climate change now allows policymakers and researchers to examine what causes it and how to intervene, said lead author Solomon Hsiang, who conducted the work as a postdoctoral research associate in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
“We think that by collecting all the research together now, we’re pretty clearly establishing that there is a causal relationship between the climate and human conflict,” Hsiang said. “People have been skeptical up to now of an individual study here or there. But considering the body of work together, we can now show that these patterns are extremely general. It’s more of the rule than the exception.
“Whether there is a relationship between climate and conflict is not the question anymore. We now want to understand what’s causing it,” Hsiang said. “Once we understand what causes this correlation we can think about designing effective policies or institutions to manage or interrupt the link between climate and conflict.”
The Latest on: Extreme weather and human conflict
Extreme Weather Events, Armed Conflict’s Impact on Children Take Centre Stage as Economic and Social Council Continues Humanitarian Affairs Segment
on June 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm
Held under the theme “Restoring Humanity, Respecting Human Dignity and Leaving No ... discussions focusing on the impact of armed conflict on children and the challenges, risks and impacts of extreme weather events and climate change on the most ... […]
Kachin, 405 villages destroyed and 150 thousand displaced in seven years of conflict
on June 12, 2018 at 5:00 am
The government is the subject of harsh criticism from peace activists, denouncing the silence of the institutions on war and human rights violations (extrajudicial ... the harsh climate and extreme weather conditions affect the grueling life in the camps. […]
In Philippines, climate change and conflict both conspire against rural women
on July 25, 2017 at 11:09 am
Conflict and extreme weather have triggered social and economic upheaval in ... Filipino children for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labour and use as human shields is on the rise, with an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children linked to ... […]
In the Philippines, climate change and conflict conspire against rural women
on July 25, 2017 at 6:11 am
Extreme weather and conflict have a particularly accute impact on female farmers in the Philippines. Credit ... forced labour and use as human shields is on the rise, with an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children linked to commercial sex exploitation. […]
Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict
on January 13, 2017 at 7:52 am
In August 2015, a dust storm blanketed large areas of seven ... have found a more likely cause for the unprecedented storm—it was not human conflict, but a combination of climatic factors and unusual weather. While reduced vegetation cover and soil ... […]
Extreme weather events are on the rise
on March 23, 2016 at 3:03 pm
Extreme weather events are on the rise ... there remain uncertainties about human influence on some natural events. For example, there appears to be a correlation between the increase in the number of floods and the rise in temperatures — but the ... […]
New Study Says Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War
on March 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm
Advertisement A new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science provides the clearest evidence yet that human-induced global ... implications of increasing extreme weather. “The Syrian conflict is one of the first ... […]
Increased bear and human conflict in NH this summer
on July 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm
This is leading to human conflict which is expected to increase this Fourth of ... "Intentional feeding causes extreme problems and is highly detrimental to bears. This activity habituates bears, which may result in the bear having to be destroyed due ... […]
Climate Change, Migration and Conflict: Addressing Complex Crisis Scenarios in the 21st Century
on January 4, 2012 at 11:19 am
As the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, noted in 2007, human-created ... migration, and conflict. [JR: For background analysis see “Climate Story of the Year: Warming-Driven Drought and Extreme Weather Emerge as Key Threat ... […]
via Google News and Bing News