JUL 10, 2020 7:32 PM PDT

The link between climate change and conflict

Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are interested in the association between climate change and armed conflict. It’s no secret that the two are linked - with climate change-driven disasters, economies and human security are at heightened risk. To better investigate this connection, the researchers gathered their diverse specialties in environmental and political science, geography, and economics to analyze climate and conflict and provide an outline of suggestions to help manage the complexities of our future. 

"This research topic is controversial and contested," said Caroline Kraan, who is a current Ph.D. student in the Abess Graduate Program in Environmental Science and Policy. "We came together to provide a full range of expert views to establish a way forward for research that can serve decision-making needs."

The study, published in Earth’s Future, builds on previous work from the same group of researchers. In their past assessment, the group previously estimated that over the last century 3-20% of organized armed conflict risk has been influenced by climate.

"Our changing climate poses threats for human security," said lead author of the new assessment, Katharine Mach, who is an associate professor at the UM Rosenstiel School. "In this commentary perspective, we provide a roadmap for future research that is supportive of appropriate societal responses. The options include deepening our understanding of how climate shapes security and conflict risks, as well as the ways in which research can prioritize ethical, interactive, and ongoing engagement with the many organizations and governments promoting peace and stability in societies."

In their assessment, the researchers define several cross-cutting priorities that should direct future investigations on the topic of the link between climate change and conflict. As they write, these priorities are the following: “(1) deepening insight into climate‐conflict linkages and conditions under which they manifest, (2) ambitiously integrating research designs, (3) systematically exploring future risks and response options, responsive to ongoing decision‐making, and (4) evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to manage climate‐conflict links.”

Photo: Pixabay

The researchers recognize all of the challenges that confront this work and suggest that in order to best continue this field of investigations, future research should take a multi-fold approach, utilizing data from satellite and drone imagery, social media, and population surveys.

Sources: Earth’s Future, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
AUG 21, 2020
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
Deep underneath our feet lies Earth's outer core, a fluid layer over two thousand kilometers (1,500 mi) in thickness ...
OCT 08, 2020
Immunology
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
OCT 08, 2020
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
Tiny, black particles much like those found in polluted air have been found in the placentas of pregnant women, as repor ...
OCT 07, 2020
Earth & The Environment
The conversion of the Amazon rainforest into savanna may be on the horizon
OCT 07, 2020
The conversion of the Amazon rainforest into savanna may be on the horizon
More dim news from the Amazon: more of the rainforest is at risk of becoming a savanna than previously believed. The fin ...
OCT 22, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Legacy chemicals found in migratory birds
OCT 22, 2020
Legacy chemicals found in migratory birds
A study published in the journal Environment International has found long-forgotten chemicals, called legacy chemicals, ...
NOV 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Solar Power Stations in Space Could Answer Global Energy Needs
NOV 22, 2020
Solar Power Stations in Space Could Answer Global Energy Needs
W/hile renewable energy technologies have developed exponentially in recent years, a major barrier towards their adoptio ...
NOV 24, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
NOV 24, 2020
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend sea level monitoring
Days ago, a new satellite was launched from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the ...
Loading Comments...