Security Risks of Climate Change: Vulnerabilities, Threats, Conflicts and Strategies

  • Jürgen Scheffran
Part of the Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace book series (HSHES, volume 5)


With growing indications of climate change, the expected impacts and risks pose a major challenge for society, foreign policy and security (Ott 2001). The issue is complex and covers highly uncertain future developments which preclude simple predictions from previous data. The recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) point to new risks, but do not focus on the linkages between climate change and potential social tensions and conflicts (IPCC 2007a; Nordås/Gleditsch 2009). Worldwide, devastating impacts on food and water availability, flood and storm disasters and large-scale events, such as loss of the monsoon, breakdown of the thermahaline circulation, polar ice melting, or sealevel rise, could affect large populations. It is unclear yet how human beings and their societies will respond to the expected dramatic consequences of climate change and whether the social stress will lead to more security risks and conflicts or to more cooperation.


Climate Change Adaptive Capacity Causal Chain Extreme Weather Event Security Risk 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), Institut für Geographie, KlimaCampusUniversität Hamburg, Zentrum für Marine und AtmosphärenwissenschaftenHamburgGermany

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