Scientific American: ‘Greens Should Stop Claiming More Warming Means More War’


By: - Climate DepotNovember 14, 2014 2:01 PM

‘One chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published this year, concludes on the basis of the work of Burke et al. that “the effect of climate change on conflict and insecurity has the potential to become a key risk.” But another chapter, written by different authors, examines a broader range of research and concludes that “collectively the research does not conclude that there is a strong positive relationship between warming and armed conflict.”anthropological research finds a weak linkage between resource scarcity and war.

‘The research of Burke et al. has been critiqued by 26 researchers led by Halvard Buhaug of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) in Norway. In a new analysis in Climatic Change, Buhaug and his colleagues note that the research of Burke et al. “suffers from shortcomings with respect to sample selection and analytical coherence. A modified assessment that addresses some of these problems suggests that scientific research on climate and conflict to date has produced mixed and inconclusive results.” Buhaug’s group probes in detail one subset of the studies analyzed by Burke et al., involving conflicts between “organized non-state actors and state military forces.” Buhaug’s group found “no evidence of a convergence of findings on climate variability and civil conflict. Recent studies disagree not only on the magnitude of the impact of climate variability but also on the direction of the effect.”