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Water scarcity, climate adaptation, and armed conflict: insights from Africa

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The dynamic relationships between climate change and armed conflict have been discussed at length, but there have been few studies that integrate dimensions of climate adaptation into the processes linking climate change to armed conflict. By using geospatial grids for climate change and armed conflict, and country-level climate vulnerability measures of sensitivity and adaptive capacity, we empirically examine the effects of climatic and non-climatic conditions on the probability of armed conflict in Africa. Results suggest that there are close links between climate drivers and armed conflict. Importantly, greater levels of adaptive capacity lead to a lower likelihood of armed conflict. From a policy perspective, our results suggest that enhancing adaptive capacity under conditions of climate pressure will reduce the probability of people taking up arms in response to water scarcity.

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Correspondence to Hyun Kim.

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Communicated by Chinwe Ifejika Speranza

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Table 3 Vulnerability components and sub-indicators under six sectors

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Regan, P., Kim, H. Water scarcity, climate adaptation, and armed conflict: insights from Africa. Reg Environ Change 20, 129 (2020).

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