As global temperatures climb, the risk of armed conflict is expected to increase substantially, according to experts across several fields.
Intensifying climate change will increase the future risk of violent armed conflict within countries, according to a study published today in the journal Nature. Synthesizing views across experts, the study estimates climate has influenced between 3% and 20% of armed conflict risk over the last century and that the influence will likely increase dramatically.
In a scenario with 4 degrees Celsius of warming (approximately the path we’re on if societies do not substantially reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases), the influence of climate on conflicts would increase more than five times, leaping to a 26% chance of a substantial increase in conflict risk, according to the study. Even in a scenario of 2 degrees Celsius of warming beyond preindustrial levels – the stated goal of the Paris Climate Agreement – the influence of climate on conflicts would more than double, rising to a 13% chance.
“Appreciating the role of climate change and its security impacts is important not only for understanding the social costs of our continuing heat-trapping emissions, but for prioritizing responses, which could include aid and cooperation,” said Katharine Mach, director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility and the study’s lead author.
Climate change-driven extreme weather and related disasters can damage economies, lower farming and livestock production and intensify inequality among social groups. These factors, when combined with other drivers of conflict, may increase risks of violence.
“Knowing whether environmental or climatic changes are important for explaining conflict has implications for what we can do to reduce the likelihood of future conflict, as well as for how to make well-informed decisions about how aggressively we should mitigate future climate change,” said Marshall Burke, assistant professor of Earth system science and a co-author on the study.
Researchers disagree intensely as to whether climate plays a role in triggering civil wars and other armed conflicts. To better understand the impact of climate, the analysis involved interviews with and debates among experts in political science, environmental science, economics and other fields who have come to different conclusions on climate’s influence on conflict in the past.
The experts, who also served as co-authors on the study, agree that climate has affected organized armed conflict in recent decades. However, they make clear that other factors, such as low socioeconomic development, the strength of government, inequalities in societies, and a recent history of violent conflict have a much heavier impact on conflict within countries.
The researchers don’t fully understand how climate affects conflict and under what conditions. The consequences of future climate change will likely be different from historical climate disruptions because societies will be forced to grapple with unprecedented conditions that go beyond known experience and what they may be capable of adapting to.
“Historically, levels of armed conflict over time have been heavily influenced by shocks to, and changes in, international relations among states and in their domestic political systems,” said James Fearon, professor of political science and co-author on the study. “It is quite likely that over this century, unprecedented climate change is going to have significant impacts on both, but it is extremely hard to anticipate whether the political changes related to climate change will have big effects on armed conflict in turn. So I think putting nontrivial weight on significant climate effects on conflict is reasonable.”
Reducing conflict risk and preparing for a changing climate can be a win–win approach. The study explains that adaptation strategies, such as crop insurance, post-harvest storage, training services and other measures, can increase food security and diversify economic opportunities, thereby reducing potential climate–conflict linkages. Peacekeeping, conflict mediation and post-conflict aid operations could incorporate climate into their risk reduction strategies by looking at ways climatic hazards may exacerbate violent conflict in the future.
However, the researchers make clear there is a need to increase understanding of these strategies’ effectiveness and potential for adverse side effects. For example, food export bans following crop failures can increase instability elsewhere.
“Understanding the multifaceted ways that climate may interact with known drivers of conflict is really critical for putting investments in the right place,“ Mach said.
The Latest on: Intensifying climate change
[google_news title=”” keyword=”intensifying climate change” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Intensifying climate change
- How climate change is a danger to our healthon November 29, 2023 at 6:49 am
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the global health community demand that climate change's impact on health take centre stage at COP28 ...
- President Iohannis participates in the 28th Conference of States Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Changeon November 28, 2023 at 10:42 pm
President Klaus Iohannis is set to participate, December 2-4, in the 28th Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which will take place in ...
- President to discuss climate change effects on Cyprus at COP28on November 28, 2023 at 11:10 am
President Nikos Christodoulides will be attending the UN Climate Summit (COP28) in Dubai on Thursday, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Tuesday. Speaking at a press briefing, ...
- Ahead of COP28, these four Arab states are at the apex of the global climate hypocrisyon November 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Countries that present themselves as climate champions on the global stage are betraying the spirit of the Paris Agreement by intensifying the climate crisis ... to prevent the worst effects of ...
- Waves grow more intense due to climate changeon November 22, 2023 at 10:33 am
A Colorado State University researcher warned that we are having larger waves and stronger storms due to climate change. Professor of Geophysics and Department Head Richard Aster wrote on ...
- Climate Change Disasters Hit CA Especially Hardon November 20, 2023 at 11:38 am
A new reports ranks California among the top states suffering economic damage from climate-related disasters: food shortages, floods, droughts, wildfires, pollution and disease. A new national climate ...
- Striving for Local Change Amid Global Climate Crisison November 20, 2023 at 11:36 am
Taking action at the local level that contributes to knowledge and results through climate-focused projects is at the heart of the fourth annual TEDxSelkirkCollege Countdown event that works to unite ...
- Climate change widespread, rapid and intensifying: IPCCon November 18, 2023 at 11:51 am
These include changes to wet and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans. For example: – Climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This brings more intense rainfall and ...
- Report: Climate change impacts on water are profound and unequalon November 16, 2023 at 10:05 am
Climate change is intensifying rainfall and floods, deepening droughts, and shifting weather patterns across the globe, threatening terrestrial freshwater supplies and water quality, according to the ...
- Energy self-consumption is vital to fight climate change and energy povertyon November 15, 2023 at 7:57 am
Pierre Jean Coulon, opinion on Individual and collective energy self-consumption as a factor in the fight for the green and energy transition ...
via Bing News