Claim: Climate disasters increase risk of armed conflict in multi-ethnic countries

CO2 is the root of all evil.

The media release is below.

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Climate disasters increase risk of armed conflict in multi-ethnic countries
Climate disasters like heat-waves or droughts enhance the risk of armed conflicts in countries with high ethnic diversity

POTSDAM INSTITUTE FOR CLIMATE IMPACT RESEARCH (PIK)

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This finding, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can help in the design of security policies even more so since future global warming from human-made greenhouse-gas emissions will increase natural disasters and therefore likely also risks of conflicts and migration.

“Devastating climate-related natural disasters have a disruptive potential that seems to play out in ethnically fractionalized societies in a particularly tragic way,” says lead author Carl Schleussner from the Berlin think-tank Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Almost one quarter of conflicts in ethnically divided countries coincide with climatic calamities, the scientists found; importantly, this is even without taking climate change into account. “Climate disasters are not directly triggering conflict outbreak, but may enhance the risk of a conflict breaking out which is rooted in context-specific circumstances. As intuitive as this might seem, we can now show this in a scientifically sound way,” says Schleussner, who has also been a research fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin, at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRITHESys).

“We’ve been surprised to which extent results stick out compared to e.g. inequality”

Previous research often either focused on climatic variables such as temperature increase that cannot be directly translated into societal impacts, or has been limited to case studies. The new study moves beyond that by focusing directly on natural disaster-related economic damage data, collected by the international reinsurance market leader Munich Re. Using the mathematical method of event coincidence analysis, this is combined with a conflict dataset established by security research, and a common index for ethnical fractionalization. The study looks at the period 1980-2010.

“We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalized countries stick out compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality,” says co-author Jonathan Donges, co-head of PIK’s flagship project on co-evolutionay pathways COPAN. “We think that ethnic divides may serve as a predetermined conflict line when additional stressors like natural disasters kick in, making multi-ethnic countries particularly vulnerable to the effect of such disasters”

“A very special co-benefit of climate stabilization: peace”

The study cannot provide a risk assessment for specific states. Since armed conflicts and natural disasters are fortunately rare events, data from single countries is necessarily limited and does not suffice for statistical analyses.

“Armed conflicts are among the biggest threats to people, killing some and forcing others to leave their home and maybe flee to far-away countries. Hence identifying ethnic divide and natural disasters as enhancing destabilization risks is potentially quite relevant,” says co-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Human-made climate change will clearly boost heatwaves and regional droughts. Our observations combined with what we know about increasing climate-change impacts can help security policy to focus on risk regions.” Several of the world’s most conflict-prone regions, including North and Central Africa as well as Central Asia, are both exceptionally vulnerable to human-made climate change and characterized by deep ethnic divides. “So our study adds evidence,” Schellnhuber concludes, “of a very special co-benefit of climate stabilization: peace.”

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Article: Schleussner, C.-F., Donges, J.F., Donner, R.V., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2016): Armed-conflict risks enhanced by climate-related disasters in ethnically fractionalized countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition, EE) [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601611113]

Weblink to the article once it is published: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1601611113

13 thoughts on “Claim: Climate disasters increase risk of armed conflict in multi-ethnic countries”

  1. ‘Climate disasters’ end more wars than they start. The Battle of the Bulge, Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia, etc. When the weather goes to hell, people generally have much more urgent tasks to attend to than going to war.

  2. And Algore said that we would be seeing more major hurricanes. NOAA: Hurricane Drought Hits Record 119 Months – CNS News

  3. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar: And Algore is an honorable man, so are they all, all honorable men. Perhaps Al Gore’s name is appropriate. He is trying to “gore” us “al(l)”.

  4. “A very special co-benefit of climate stabilization: peace”

    The arrogance of the climate change crowd has no limits. They will “stabilize” the climate and bring us peace on earth.

  5. “Carl Schleussner from the Berlin think-tank Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)”

    Well, duh! This is not unbiased work.
    It is in his and their financial interests to conjure up ‘facts’ which support their funding. It is correctly labelled a ‘conflict of interests’.

    Always follow the money

  6. Two questions:
    1) How do we decide on what climate state to use our awesome powers to stabilize on?
    2) Since when had the left decided that cultural diversity and multiculturalism is a bad thing?

  7. Climate disasters do lead to war. The end of the Roman Optimum and the start of the Little Ice age both led to chaos and war. Oh wait, that was global cooling. Global warming has always led to peace and prosperity.

  8. ‘This finding, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can help in the design of security policies even more so since future global warming from human-made greenhouse-gas emissions will increase natural disasters and therefore likely also risks of conflicts and migration.’

    Gibberish masquerading as science.

    ‘can help in the design of security policies even more so’

    What policies? Disarming the people? Eliminating all but one in multi-ethnic countries? What the heck are they talking about; what do they mean by ‘security policies?’

    ‘more so’ What? More so than what?

    ‘since future global warming from human-made greenhouse-gas emissions will increase natural disasters’

    A fallacy of illegitimate presumption.

    ‘will increase natural disasters and therefore likely also risks of conflicts and migration.’

    More fallacies of illegitimate presumption.

    ‘Using the mathematical method of event coincidence analysis, this is combined with a conflict dataset established by security research, and a common index for ethnical fractionalization.’

    In other words, a computer model.

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