Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Conflict in a changing climate

Abstract

A growing body of research illuminates the role that changes in climate have had on violent conflict and social instability in the recent past. Across a diversity of contexts, high temperatures and irregular rainfall have been causally linked to a range of conflict outcomes. These findings can be paired with climate model output to generate projections of the impact future climate change may have on conflicts such as crime and civil war. However, there are large degrees of uncertainty in such projections, arising from (i) the statistical uncertainty involved in regression analysis, (ii) divergent climate model predictions, and (iii) the unknown ability of human societies to adapt to future climate change. In this article, we review the empirical evidence of the climate-conflict relationship, provide insight into the likely extent and feasibility of adaptation to climate change as it pertains to human conflict, and discuss new methods that can be used to provide projections that capture these three sources of uncertainty.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    T.F. Homer-Dixon, Environment, Scarcity and Violence (Princeton University Press, 1999)

  2. 2.

    N. Gleditsch, J. Peace Res. (2012)

  3. 3.

    O.M. Theisen, N.P. Gleditsch, H. Buhaug, Climatic Change 117, 613 (2013)

  4. 4.

    J. Scheffran, M. Brzoska, J. Kominek, P. Link, J. Schilling, Science (2012)

  5. 5.

    S.M. Hsiang, M. Burke, Clim. Chang. (2013)

  6. 6.

    S.M. Hsiang, M. Burke, E. Miguel, Science (2013a)

  7. 7.

    M. Burke, S.M. Hsiang, E. Miguel, Annual Rev. Econom. (2015)

  8. 8.

    S.M. Hsiang, M. Burke, E. Miguel, Climatic Change (2014)

  9. 9.

    H. Buhaug, J. Nordkvelle, T. Bernauer, T. Böhmelt, M. Brzoska, J. Busby, A. Ciccone, H. Fjelde, E. Gartzke, N. Gleditsch, et al., Clim. Chang. (2014)

  10. 10.

    S.M. Hsiang, K.C. Meng, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2014)

  11. 11.

    S.M. Hsiang, M. Burke, E. Miguel, M.A. Cane, K.C. Meng, working paper (2013c)

  12. 12.

    S.M. Hsiang, M. Burke, E. Miguel, CEGA Working Paper 32 (2013b)

  13. 13.

    J. O’Loughlin, F. Witmer, A. Linke, A. Laing, A. Gettelman, J. Dudhia, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2012)

  14. 14.

    M. Burke, E. Miguel, S. Satyanath, J. Dykema, D. Lobell, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106, 20670 (2009)

  15. 15.

    C. Basyan, F. Gonzalez, M. Burke, S. Hsiang, E. Miguel, Working paper (2014)

  16. 16.

    M. Dell, American Economic Review (2015)

  17. 17.

    M. Ranson, J. Environ. Econ. Manag. 67, 274 (2014)

  18. 18.

    J. Rotton, E. Cohn, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 78, 1074 (2000)

  19. 19.

    Zhang, P. Brecke, H. Lee, Y. He, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2007)

  20. 20.

    B. Buckley, K. Anchukaitis, D. Penny, R. Fletcher, E. Cook, M. Sano, L. Nam, A. Wichienkeeo, T. Minh, T. Hong, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 107, 6748 (2010)

  21. 21.

    S.M. Hsiang, NBER working paper 22181 (2016)

  22. 22.

    F. Hidalgo, S. Naidu, S. Nichter, N. Richardson, Rev. Econ. Stat. 92, 505 (2010)

  23. 23.

    E. Wetherley, Master’s thesis, Univ. of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (2014)

  24. 24.

    P.J. Burke, A. Leigh, Am. Econ. J. Macroecon. 2, 124 (2010)

  25. 25.

    A. Auliciems, L. DiBartolo, Int. J. Biometeorol. 39, 34 (1995)

  26. 26.

    J. Maystadt, M. Calderone, L. You, J. Econ. Geogr. (335) (2014)

  27. 27.

    D. Blakeslee, R. Fishman, Working paper (2014)

  28. 28.

    M. Harari, E. La Ferrara, Working paper (2013)

  29. 29.

    S. Hsiang, K. Meng, M. Cane, Nature 476, 438 (2011)

  30. 30.

    D. Bergholt, P. Lujala, J. Peace Res. 49, 147 (2012)

  31. 31.

    R.P. Larrick, T.A. Timmerman, A.M. Carton, J. Abrevaya, Psychol. Sci. 22, 423 (2011)

  32. 32.

    L. Iyer, P. Topalova, Working paper (2014)

  33. 33.

    S. Sekhri, A. Storeygard, Working paper (2012)

  34. 34.

    E. Miguel, Rev. Econ. Stud. 72, 1153 (2005)

  35. 35.

    M. Brückner, A. Ciccone, Econometrica 79, 923 (2011)

  36. 36.

    A.T. Bohlken, E.J. Sergenti, J. Peace Res. 47, 589 (2010)

  37. 37.

    M. Couttenier, R. Soubeyran, Econ. J. (2013)

  38. 38.

    N.K. Kim, J. Confl. Resolut., 1 (2014)

  39. 39.

    C.S. Hendrix, I. Salehyan, J. Peace Res. 49, 35 (2012)

  40. 40.

    A. Gelman, J.B. Carlin, H.S. Stern, D.B. Rubin, Bayesian data analysis (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2004)

  41. 41.

    S. Chassang, G. Padro-i-Miquel, Q. J. Polit. Sci. 4, 211 (2009)

  42. 42.

    E. Miguel, S. Satyanath, E. Sergenti, J. Polit. Econ. 112, 725 (2004)

  43. 43.

    J. Maystadt, O. Ecker, Am. J. Agric. Econ. (2014)

  44. 44.

    D.B. Lobell, W. Schlenker, J. Costa-Roberts, Science 333, 616 (2011)

  45. 45.

    W. Schlenker, M. Roberts, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106, 15594 (2009)

  46. 46.

    W. Schlenker, D. Lobell, Environ. Res. Lett. (2010)

  47. 47.

    J.R. Welch, J.R. Vincent, M. Auffhammer, P.F. Moya, A. Dobermann, D. Dawe, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2010)

  48. 48.

    J. Graff Zivin, M. Neidell, J. Labor Econ. (2013)

  49. 49.

    S. Barrios, L. Bertinelli, E. Strobl, Rev. Econ. Stat. 92, 350 (2010)

  50. 50.

    S.M. Hsiang, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 107, 15367 (2010)

  51. 51.

    M. Dell, B.F. Jones, B.A. Olken, Am. Econ. J.: Macroecon. (2012a)

  52. 52.

    B. Jones, B. Olken, Am. Econ. Rev. Pap. Proc. 100, 454 (2010)

  53. 53.

    T. Fetzer, Working paper (2014)

  54. 54.

    R. Caruso, I. Petrarca, R. Ricciuti, CESifo Working Paper Series (4665) (2014)

  55. 55.

    T.H. Benzinger, Physiol. Behav. Temp. Regul. (1970)

  56. 56.

    G. Basso, M. Guazzelli, K. Jaffe, P. Pietrini, J. Grafman, Am. J. Psychiatry 11, 1772 (2000)

  57. 57.

    A.S. Todd Moore, Adrian Raine, Aggress. Behav. 28, 299 (2002)

  58. 58.

    P.K. Dongju Seo, Christopher Patrick, Aggress. Violent Behav. 13, 383 (2008)

  59. 59.

    C.L. Richard Davidson, Katherine Putnam, Science 289 (2000)

  60. 60.

    D. Card, G.B. Dahl, Q. J. Econ. 126, 103 (2011)

  61. 61.

    B. Jacob, L. Lefgren, E. Moretti, J. Hum. Resour. (2007)

  62. 62.

    A. Vrij, J.V. der Steen, L. Koppelaar, J. Commun. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 4, 365 (1994)

  63. 63.

    T. Stocker, D. Qin, G.K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex, P.M. Midgley, Climate change 2013: The physical science basis (Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK, and New York, 2014)

  64. 64.

    M. Burke, K. Emerick, American Economic Journal -Economic Policy (Forthcoming), http://ssrn.com/abstract=2144928

  65. 65.

    M. Dell, B.F. Jones, B.A. Olken, Am. Econ. J.: Macroecon. 4, 66 (2012b)

  66. 66.

    E. Cohn, J. Rotton, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 72, 1322 (1997)

  67. 67.

    J.K. Anttila-Hughes, S.M. Hsiang, Destruction, Disinvestment, and Death: Economic and Human Losses Following Environmental Disaster (Work. Pap., Univ. of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 2012), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract_id=2220501

  68. 68.

    M. Burke, S. Hsiang, E. Miguel, Nature 527, 235 (2015)

  69. 69.

    M. Burke, J. Dykema, D.B. Lobell, E. Miguel, S. Satyanath, Rev. Econ. Stat. 97(2), 461 (2015)

  70. 70.

    T. Houser, R. Kopp, S.M. Hsiang, M. Delgado, A. Jina, K. Larsen, M. Mastrandrea, S. Mohan, R. Muir-Wood, D. Rasmussen, et al. (Columbia University Press, 2015)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to T. Carleton or S.M. Hsiang or M. Burke.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Carleton, T., Hsiang, S. & Burke, M. Conflict in a changing climate. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 225, 489–511 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjst/e2015-50100-5

Download citation