Climate Change May Lead to More Wars

Human conflict appears to intensify during times of heat, drought and torrential rains.

Police chiefs have long observed that on sweltering summer nights, crime rates go up. Now a University of California, Berkeley study links climate-change-induced weather patterns — sizzling heat, droughts, torrential rains — with increases in ethnic clashes, riots and wars.

Agricultural economist Marshall Burke and his colleagues conducted a meta analysis of 60 previous studies that looked at climatic events and their link to human conflict, including the fall of the Mayan Empire, civil conflicts in Africa, ethnic clashes in India, road rage in the U.S. and even the type of pitches thrown during Major League Baseball games when temperatures rise. 

The researchers then used a mathematical model that combined the conflict data with temperature and rainfall projections through 2050 to come up with predictions about the likelihood of climate-related violence in the future.


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