Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa, study finds

Kathleen Mackay in the UC Berkeley News: Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades, according to a new study led by a team of researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and published in today's (Monday, Nov. 23) online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The study, conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley as well as at Stanford University, New York University and Harvard University, provides the first quantitative evidence linking climate change and the risk of civil conflict. It concludes by urging accelerated support by African governments and foreign aid donors for new and/or expanded policies to assist with African adaptation to climate change.

"Despite recent high-level statements suggesting that climate change could worsen the risk of civil conflict, until now we had little quantitative evidence linking the two," said Marshall Burke, the study's lead author and a graduate student at UC Berkeley's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. "Unfortunately, our study finds that climate change could increase the risk of African civil war by over 50 percent in 2030 relative to 1990, with huge potential costs to human livelihoods."

"We were definitely surprised that the linkages between temperature and recent conflict were so strong," said Edward Miguel, professor of economics at UC Berkeley and faculty director of UC Berkeley's Center for Evaluation for Global Action. "But the result makes sense. The large majority of the poor in most African countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, and their crops are quite sensitive to small changes in temperature. So when temperatures rise, the livelihoods of many in Africa suffer greatly, and the disadvantaged become more likely to take up arms."…

Farming along White and Blue Nile Rivers, near Khartoum,Sudan In the Sahara Desert, along the White and Blue Nile rivers lies a thriving agricultural area. As seen in this Landsat 7 image, the farming patterns resemble French long farms, whose long, rectangular shapes allow each individual plot access to water from irrigation canals along the narrow side.


Term Papers said...

This is a fantastic, It is glad to see this blog, nice informative blog, Thanks for share this article.

Term Papers said...

Its Blog indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis "Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa,I would like to thank the author of this article for contributing such a lovely and mind-opening article.