We wanted to thank Peter Gleick for citing our research on climate change, drought, desertification, natural resource management and social unrest in Syria in the Pacific Institute’s Water Conflict Chronology List. The chronology “tracks and categorizes events related to water and conflict,” and has been continuously updated since the 1980s. It’s a great resource. The listing, which also cites work by Shahrzad Mohtadi and reporting by Robert Worth of the New York Times, states:
Severe political conflict in Syria has been aggravated by the multi-year drought gripping the region. More than 1.5 million people – mostly farmers and their families– have moved to cities and their outskirts. In 2008, US diplomats is Syria warned that the a influx of rural people to cities “could act as a multiplier on social and economic pressures already at play and undermine stability in Syria.” Political unrest began in March 2011 in Dara’a, and soon escalated into civil war as ousters seek to overturn the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the ruling Ba’ath Party.