Jessica Sieff | February 7, 2020
New research from the University of Notre Dame is shedding light on the unexpected effects climate change could have on regional instability and violent conflict.
Previous studies have linked drought to instances of intense conflict. As climate change is expected to bring hotter, dryer conditions to certain regions around the world, with it has come the expectation that conflict, too, will rise.
But this notion is more nuanced, according to the Notre Dame study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“There is a strong scientific consensus that climate change will lead to more droughts in many regions of the world, and so often the prediction is made that through this mechanism, climate change leads to more conflict,” said Michèle Müller-Itten, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Notre Dame, and lead author of the study. “We show that the relationship isn’t quite as straightforward, and in order to make valid predictions for a specific time and place, we need to know not just how the average growing conditions will change, but we also need to understand the variability of income.”
Read more here.