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      Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict.

      1 , ,

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

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          Abstract

          A rapidly growing body of research examines whether human conflict can be affected by climatic changes. Drawing from archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology, we assemble and analyze the 60 most rigorous quantitative studies and document, for the first time, a striking convergence of results. We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict across a range of spatial and temporal scales and across all major regions of the world. The magnitude of climate's influence is substantial: for each one standard deviation (1σ) change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises 4% and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14%. Because locations throughout the inhabited world are expected to warm 2σ to 4σ by 2050, amplified rates of human conflict could represent a large and critical impact of anthropogenic climate change.

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          Most cited references 74

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          On Estimating Regression

           E. Nadaraya (1964)
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            2500 years of European climate variability and human susceptibility.

            Climate variations influenced the agricultural productivity, health risk, and conflict level of preindustrial societies. Discrimination between environmental and anthropogenic impacts on past civilizations, however, remains difficult because of the paucity of high-resolution paleoclimatic evidence. We present tree ring-based reconstructions of central European summer precipitation and temperature variability over the past 2500 years. Recent warming is unprecedented, but modern hydroclimatic variations may have at times been exceeded in magnitude and duration. Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from ~250 to 600 C.E. coincided with the demise of the western Roman Empire and the turmoil of the Migration Period. Such historical data may provide a basis for counteracting the recent political and fiscal reluctance to mitigate projected climate change.
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              Mean seasonal and spatial variability in global surface air temperature

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science (New York, N.Y.)
                1095-9203
                0036-8075
                Sep 13 2013
                : 341
                : 6151
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. shsiang@berkeley.edu
                Article
                science.1235367
                10.1126/science.1235367
                24031020

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