Monday, July 09, 2007

Chinese study correlates climate change with wars

Climate change, and the resulting shortage of ecological resources, could be to blame for armed conflicts in the future, according to David Zhang from the University of Hong Kong and colleagues. Their research, which highlights how temperature fluctuations and reduced agricultural production explain warfare frequency in eastern China in the past, has been published online in Springer’s journal Human Ecology.

Main points in short:
  • Wars throughout Chinese history correlated to cold periods in climate change cycles
  • Situations of "ecological stress" spurs conflict and should be taken into account in other historical reviews of war
  • In the future resource shortages could create conflicts and wars

The original article is available to subscribers only, but of course they have the abstract for free: Zhang et al: Climate Change and War Frequency in Eastern China over the Last Millennium. Human Ecology, 2007.

1 comment:

  1. New Scientist picked it up: (23 July 2007) Climate change linked to a millennium of war in China

    Especially nice is they link back to a 30 May 2007 article that I somehow missed: Rainfall records could warn of war

    Quote: "[...] when rainfall is significantly below normal, the risk of a low-level conflict escalating to a full-scale civil war approximately doubles in the following year" - which is then countered by none other than CIA plus other researchers.


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