Global warming might lead to escalation of wars, reveals new study

November 20th, 2007 - 4:15 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 20 (ANI): A new study has for the first time suggested that global warming might lead to war like situations in the world.
The study points out that current and future climate change may result in widespread global unrest and conflict.
A clear example of this new link between war and changing global temperatures, was put forward by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently, when he referred to the ongoing conflict in Darfur, Sudan. According to him, “This conflict grew at least in part from desertification, ecological degradation, and a scarcity of resources.”
For the new study, Peter Brecke of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US, and colleagues in Hong Kong, China, and the UK scanned worldwide historical records on food prices, population levels and conflicts dating back to 1400 and compared this data with long-term temperature records.
“We found that anecdotes of climate changes leading to conflict seem to fit a broader pattern,” said Brecke.
“Our basic model is that deviations in temperature can hamper crop production, which in turn, has three effects: increasing food prices, a greater risk of death from starvation, and increased social tension, which leads to violent conflict,” said Peter Brecke of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US.
Though the research team acknowledges that temperature is not the only factor that causes wars, they believe that it can certainly aggravate the conditions. T
For example, cooler temperatures during the Little Ice Age caused a drop in crop yields which intensified conflicts.
Although the world is now predicted to get warmer, not cooler, the researchers point out that forecasts suggest global warming will lead to long-term food shortages much as cooling did during the Little Ice Age, by disrupting global water cycles.
Brecke cautions that though modern societies have more mechanisms to cope with these problems, they might fail if society is forced to cope with a whole slew of environmental problems at the same time, as is predicted by several major environmental reports.
“If other problems emerge that impede our ability to address food shortages, we may well see warfare erupt, and it should not be that big a surprise,” New Scientist quoted Brecke as saying. (ANI)

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