Climate Change and Conflict

While early analyses of climate change focused on its physical causes and impacts, recent years have increasingly shown that climate change affects nearly all areas of life — including some that had previously not been connected. In particular, climate change is now understood to spark conflict situations around the globe, whether from decreasing available resources such as water or arable land  (and leading to struggles over those remaining), reducing crop yields and increasing the risk of famine, or by triggering the mass migration of peoples and communities into new areas that may not be equipped to receive them. These risks are especially high in developing countries where pressures on resources and land-use are already strained, and in environmentally-sensitive areas such as the polar regions where the impacts could be catastrophic. The relationships between climate and conflict were explored in a 2003 report prepared for the Pentagon, a report that claimed that climate change could, over time, pose a greater cumulative threat to national security than terrorism.

See also: Tipping Points, Changing Polar Landscapes, Environmental Migration.

Further Resources
An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.
Climate Change as a Security Risk.
Can Climate Change Cause Conflict? Recent History Suggests So (Scientific American)

This entry was posted in Scenarios. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.