Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian War, Study Says

Research provides first deep look at how global warming may already influence armed conflict.

By Craig Welch, for National Geographic


A severe drought, worsened by a warming climate, drove Syrian farmers to abandon their crops and flock to cities, helping trigger a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, according to a new study published Monday.

The research provides the most detailed look yet at how climate change may already be helping spark violent political unrest.

"Up until now we've understood and established that changes in climate may affect human conflict in the future. But everything until now has stopped short of saying climate change is already having an effect," says Solomon Hsiang, a University of California, Berkeley professor who has studied the role of climate change in violence. He did not participate in the new study.

Read the entire article at National Geographic.