Climatic Change

, Volume 15, Issue 1–2, pp 309–325 | Cite as

The implications of global climatic changes for international security

  • Peter H. Gleick
Article

Abstract

Global climatic changes caused by growing concentrations of atmospheric trace gases have the potential to alter international relationships, economics, behavior, and security. While there is debate about the extent to which environmental problems alone can lead to conflict, it is widely acknowledged that resource constraints can act as roots leading to economic pressures and tensions, or as triggers to conflict when other pressures and tensions exist between states. Recent widespread attention to the issue of global environmental problems, particularly climatic change, is leading to a re-examination and expansion of the traditional narrow definition of “international security”. This paper discusses likely paths to international frictions and tensions and the responses that might be most appropriate to minimize the adverse consequences of climatic change for international security.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Antonov, V. S.: 1978, ‘The Possible Impact on the Arctic Ocean from the Proposed Transfer of Water from the Northern Rivers of the U.S.S.R. to the South’, Polar Geology 2, 223–231.Google Scholar
  2. Bergesen, H. O., Moe, A., and Ostreng, W.: 1987, Soviet Oil and Security Interests in the Barents Sea, Frances Pinter, Publishers, London, England, 144 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Bilder, R. B.: 1980, ‘International Law and Natural Resource Policies’, in Dorner, P. and M. A. El-Shafie (eds.), Resources and Development, The University of Wisconsin Press, Croom Helm, London, pp. 385–421.Google Scholar
  4. British Petroleum (BP): 1987, BP Statistical Review of World Energy, British Petroleum Company, Britannic House, Moor Lane, London, 36 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Budyko, M. I.: 1977, Climatic Changes, American Geophysical Union Translation, Waverly Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 261 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Falkenmark, M.: 1986, ‘Fresh Waters as a Factor in Strategic Policy and Action’, in A. H. Westing (ed.), Global Resources and International Conflict: Environmental Factors in Strategic Policy and Action, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 85–113.Google Scholar
  7. Flaschka, I., Stockton, C. W., and Boggess, W. R.: 1987, ‘Climatic Variation and Surface Water Resources in the Great Basin’, Water Resources Bulletin 23. No. 1. pp. 47–57.Google Scholar
  8. Garrett, J. N.: 1984, ‘Conventional Hydrocarbons in the United States Arctic: An Industry Appraisal’, in Westernmeyer, W. E. and K. M. Shusterich (eds.), United States Arctic Interests: The 1980s and 1990s, Springer-Verlag, Inc. New York, pp. 39–58.Google Scholar
  9. Gleick, P. H.: 1988, ‘The Effects of Future Climatic Changes on International Water Resources: The Colorado River, The United States, and Mexico’, Policy Sciences 21, 23–39.Google Scholar
  10. Gleick, P. H.: 1989, ‘Vulnerability of Water-Supply Systems’, in P. Waggoner and R. R. Revelle (eds.), Climate and Water: Climate Variability, Climate Change, and the Planning and Management of U.S. Water Resources, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, John Wiley & Sons. New York (in press.)Google Scholar
  11. Gustafson, T.: 1981, Reform in Soviet Politics: Lessons of Recent Policies on Land and Water, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 218 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Mintzer, I. M.: 1987, A Matter of Degrees: The Potential for Controlling the Greenhouse Effect, World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C., 60 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Mote, V. L.: 1983, ‘Environmental Constraints to the Economic Development of Siberia’, in Jensen, R. G., Shabad, T. and A. W. Wright (eds.), Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 15–71.Google Scholar
  14. Naff, T. and Matson, R. C. (eds.): 1984, Water in the Middle East: Conflict or Cooperation, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 236 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Pitovranov, S., Iakimets, V., Kiselev, V., and Sirotenko, O.: 1987, ‘The Effects of Climatic Variations on Agriculture in the SubArctic Zone of the USSR, in M.L. Parry, T. R. Carter, and N. T. Konijn (eds.), The Impact of Climatic Variations on Agriculture. Volume 1. Assessments in Cool Temperate and Cold Regions, Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 617–722.Google Scholar
  16. Revelle, R. R. and Waggoner, P. E.: 1983, ‘Effects of a Carbon Dioxide-Induced Climatic Change on Water Supplies in the Western United States’, in Changing Climate, National Academy of Sciences National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 419–432.Google Scholar
  17. Roberts, W. O. and Lansford, H.: 1979, The Climate Mandate, W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, California, 197 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Rotty, R. M: 1987a, ‘Estimates of Seasonal Variation in Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions’, Tellus 39B, 184–202.Google Scholar
  19. Rotty, R. M.: 1987b, ‘A Look at 1983 CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel (with Preliminary Data for 1984)’, Tellus 39B, 203–208.Google Scholar
  20. Schneider, S. H.: 1983, ‘Food and Climate: Basic Issues and Some Policy Implications’, in V. P. Nanda (ed.), World Climate Change: The Role of International Law and Institutions, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 46–63.Google Scholar
  21. Tickell, C.: 1986, Climatic Change and World Affairs, Revised edition. Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, 76 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Ullman, R. H.: 1983, ‘Redefining Security’, International Security 8, 129–153.Google Scholar
  23. United Nations: 1978, Register of International Rivers, Pergamon Press, Oxford, England, 58 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Wallensteen, P.: 1986, ‘Food Crops as a Factor in Strategic Policy and Action’, in A. H. Westing (ed.), Global Resources and International Conflict: Environmental Factors in Strategic Policy and Action, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 143–158.Google Scholar
  25. Wilson, T. W. Jr.: 1983, ‘Global Climate, World Politics and National Security’, in Nanda, V. P. (ed.), World Climate Change: The Role of International Law and Institutions, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 71–78.Google Scholar
  26. World Resources Institute: 1987, World Resources 1986, Basic Books, Inc., New York, 353 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter H. Gleick
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and SecurityBerkeleyU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations