Thirstier World Likely to See More Violence
By Stephen Leahy
Mar 16 (IPS) – A strong link between droughts and violent civil conflicts in the developing world bodes ill for an increasingly thirsty world, say scientists, who warn that drought-related conflicts are expected to multiply with advancing climate change.
“Severe, prolonged droughts are the strongest indicator of high-intensity conflicts,” said Marc Levy of the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York.
These are internal conflicts, not between countries, and involving more than 1,000 battle deaths, Levy said at a press briefing in Washington last week.
Such conflicts tend to occur about a year after a “severe deviation in rainfall patterns”, he said.
Levy and colleagues used decades of detailed precipitation records, geospatial conflict information and other data in a complex computer model that overlays all this onto a fine-scale map of the world.
“Major deviations from normal rainfall patterns were the strongest predictor of conflicts,” he said. “I was surprised at how strong the correlation is.”
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