Climate Change Did Not Cause Syrian War

16 October 2017 | Tim Radford

 

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LONDON, 11 October, 2017 – Climate change in the form of sustained drought is not to blame for the bloody and prolonged conflict in Syria, according to a new study.

 

But drought nevertheless plays a contributing role in creating the conditions for conflict – and a database of 1,800 riots over a cycle of 21 years delivers the evidence to support that hypothesis, according to a second study.

 

The idea that climate change, with consequential drought and famine in its wake, can drive conflict and topple kingdoms, empires and civilisations is not a new one: climate change has been identified as a factor in the fall of the ancient Assyrian empire and the fall of the Mayan civilisation, and the recent drought in the eastern Mediterranean has been identified as the worst in 900 years.

 

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