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Good weather for a new war. As climate changes affect the armed conflict
Material posted: Publication date: 14-11-2015
Almost every week, scientists, politicians and journalists have reported new alarming news about global warming: the next two years will be by the hottest in the history of mankind, and the average temperature almost reached the dangerous threshold. Whether these trends is fraught with deadly clashes in the future - for land, food and water? Is it true that global climate change may lead to global instability and an increase in international conflicts as threatening US Secretary of State John Kerry? "To" I attempted to sort out this issue.

All over the world (and especially in the USA) with foam at a mouth argue on degree of fault of mankind in disturbing climatic dynamics, however very few people doubts that weather on a planet it is not becomes simple warmer, but extreme and unpredictable. It is abnormal cold winter of 2014 in the east of the USA and the hardest drought after some months in the west of the country have visually demonstrated that consequences of a global thaw should be disentangled not only to the poorest countries as it was at the monstrous African drought of 1980th years caused by emissions of the European factories.

People (and especially the mighty of this world) are afraid not so much acts of nature, how many of their social consequences - wars and revolutions. While scientists cannot come to the uniform point of view concerning that, how much strongly climatic shifts promote social conflicts. On the one hand, the increasing number of researchers is convinced what climatic changes have led to the major shifts of a world history, especially ancient: the drought which has ruined the Near-Eastern states of early bronze, a cold snap in a forest-steppe belt of Eurasia, the provoked Great resettlement of the people which has led to falling Roman empire, or good weather in the Mongolian steppes, provided a nomadic cavalry of XIII century a grass in quantity, sufficient for world power creation. But all it were societies of peasants and the nomads which ability to live directly depends on an environment. Whether climate shifts the modern states will lead to similar catastrophic consequences?

Yes - the Californian economist assures Marshall Berk (Marshall Burke). In 2009 it has published research which has shown that since 1980th years during the hot periods confrontations in Africa happen for 50 percent more often. In 2013, having generalised all available thematic supervision, Berk and its colleagues have assumed that climatic changes lead to violence growth worldwide. Even small fluctuations of temperature or an amount of precipitation correlate with increase in number of cases of robberies, rapes and murders. Berk have rigidly scarified - for the doubtful primary data, statistical discrepancies and, the main thing, treatment of casual climatic fluctuations as real reasons of internecine conflicts.

In 2011 other scientists have tried to find again communication between a climate and wars. Having constructed difficult model, they have come to a conclusion that in the coastal countries of Southern hemisphere the risk of internal conflicts grows with 3 to 6 percent years the Ale-nino (a phase of fluctuations of temperature of a blanket of water in an equatorial unit of Pacific ocean at which the area nagretyh waters is displaced to the east) - and influence of a global thaw is depleted by it! That is the majority of authors nekriticheski reproduce it would seem the obvious concept ekoshoka: the above the global temperature, the "shakes" ecosystems more and that the people suffering from hunger are more inclined to conflicts.

Paradise for pickpockets and the guerrilla

However very few people has found time to check up a hypothesis ekoshoka on a global scale. This work was incurred by the American politologist Stephen Lendis (Steven T. Landis). He reasonably notices what adequately to study a question it is impossible, in view of mid-annual temperature on a planet. It is necessary to go down a bit more low and to look, in which months and at what weather civil wars and other disorders begin.

Revolution of the season influences conflicts by means of several mechanisms. In opinion klimatologov, the present global thaw leads to softer winters, early approach of spring and a flying weather even in the first autumn months. It is logical to assume that the long summer strengthens kriminogennuju conditions: to move on the country it is easier, resources are rich, and people spend more time on air (that facilitates to robbers and pickpockets search of victims).

That to internal conflicts - warm weather increases duration of the period when it is possible to conduct operations. Both to the government, and rebels it is easier to throw troops in remote regions access to which is complicated in cold months or in an impassability of roads. Good weather explain strengthening of military activity of "Taliban" in 2010th years: it was easier to insurgents to hold communication with mountain regions and to throw supplies through border with Pakistan. Besides, good weather encourages people to spend more time in the street: it is easier to collect crowds of demonstrators, it is easier to provoke fights - so, the hot summer of 2012 has helped to deduce set of participants of movement Occupy Tel Aviv on streets of Tel Aviv.

Further - the above crops (and is more often them collect), the there is more than foodstuffs guerrillas can take from the population for livelihood of the growing groups. The record harvest of 2012 connected with unusually good weather, have explained the first successes of "Free army of Syria» in struggle against a mode of Asada. Thus scientists connect civil war with a record three-year drought (because of the same global thaw) - in 2007-2010 about one and a half millions become impoverished peasants has moved in cities.

Warm and hot

However all is only separate comical supervision. To understand, whether the climate and weather influences civil conflicts, and to draw conclusions to a serious statistical basis, Lendis has addressed to a database on confrontations (Armed Conflict Database, ACD) where months of the beginning of all internal conflicts in which course for a year was lost not less than 25 persons are specified. Collisions between the separate armed groups which have been not connected with the state (tribes, parties, narcocartels), paid off on Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s (UDCP) Non-State Conflict Dataset Version 2.4. Spontaneous flashes of violence (revolts, massacres and the demonstrations which have completed by fights) were described on regional databases: Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD), Integrated Conflict Early Warning System (ICEWS), Armed Conflict Events Location Database (ACLED) As an independent variable the average temperature on the country X in a month Y year Z, calculated on a database of temperature of air of the bottom layers of atmosphere has acted. Conducts this base (NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Monthly Means Dataset 1948-2011) National board of oceanic and atmospheric researches of the USA. Influence of years the Ale-nino also was considered at calculations.

The author has broken the surveyed countries on climatic belts: equatorial, droughty, moderated, snow, subpolar and mixed. The states concerning an equatorial and subpolar pole (only 65: African, Latin American, South East Asia, Ocenia and Iceland), Lendis has allocated in separate group - there revolution of the season is expressed poorly. There were 104 states - all countries of Europe, the African and Asian states. The scientist has decided to check up two base hypotheses: whether growth of intensity and frequency of conflicts depends on growth of temperature and climatic shock (measured on deviations from mid-annual temperature sizes).

Taking for a basis the fifth report MGEIK, Lendis has simulated two scenarios of a global thaw: moderated (growth of monthly average temperatures on 2 degrees of Celsius) and catastrophic (growth on 4,5 degrees). At first sight, the hypothesis has proved to be true: at the first scenario the risk of the beginning of civil war grows for 5-9 percent, at the second - for 10-20 percent. However frequency of all other violent acts (revolts, massacres, interclan collisions), on the contrary, at temperature growth only falls (for 7 and 16 percent accordingly). The hypothesis that climatic shock and ecosystem destabilization promote local conflicts, was, according to conclusions of Lendisa, is completely denied.

In general, prolongation of seasons of warm and solar weather in the countries with sharply expressed revolution of the season became the unique climatic factor unequivocally influencing intensity of collisions. In the equatorial states noted by weak contrast between winter and the summer, the same factor, on the contrary, has reduced intensity of conflicts: the zharche, the more difficult in these widths to conduct operations.

Be engaged in a survival, instead of war

Why destabilization of a climate and the adverse changes connected with it in economy (frequent droughts and flooding, productivity falling), contrary to fears klimatologov, could not to destabilise a society? The scientist offers a simple and elegant explanation: when resources becomes less, all forces at people leave on adapting for a new situation: to change ways of housekeeping or to find new routes of labour migration. Effective «management of risks» in the conditions of impoverishment of resources demands more likely ability to agree with competitors and the state, instead of to enter the destructive conflict, capable to ruin and without that living in misery territories. To begin struggle against the state which often is a source of material benefits and social support, it is absolutely unprofitable, approves Lendis.

Though the approach of Lendisa has the minuses, the scientist has processed the big file to the data almost on all states of a planet. Conclusions of the scientist force to doubt catastrophic forecasts klimatologov. Statements MGEIK for anthropogenous character of the climatic changes, future rising of sea level, growth of number of droughts and flooding can be quite proved with the scientific point of view. But it is not necessary to forget that human societies are capable to adapt for the most different conditions, and the reserve of their durability is quite often underestimated. Contrary to a climatic determinism transition to self-destructive violence is often made not under the pressure of environment, and for the unpredictable reasons: nobody can foresee, why in one province from a spark the flame inflames, and in another even the poured out gasoline does not lead to a fire.

Artem Kosmarsky

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Tags: assessment , war , climate

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