Tag Archives: Shanker Satyanath

PUBLICATIONS: The Climate and Civil War Relationship

16 Dec

A series of recent papers by Marshall Burke, John Dykema, David Lobell, Edward Miguel and DRI Adjunct Faculty Shanker Satyanath documented evidence that warming temperatures caused by climate change increase the risk of civil war in Africa.

The authors first established this connection in a published 2009 study, finding that warmer-than-average temperatures were linked to large increases in civil war in Africa between 1981 – 2002, with grave implications for the future:

We find strong historical linkages between civil war and temperature in Africa, with warmer years leading to significant increases in the likelihood of war. When combined with climate model projections of future temperature trends, this historical response to temperature suggests a roughly 54% increase in armed conflict incidence by 2030, or an additional 393,000 battle deaths if future wars are as deadly as recent wars. Our results suggest an urgent need to reform African governments’ and foreign aid donors’ policies to deal with rising temperatures.

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