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BRIEFER: Climate Security: An Agenda for Future Research
By Dr. Duncan Depledge, Matt Ince, Olivia Lazard, and Erin Sikorsky
Climate change is altering the physical and strategic context in which national and international security is pursued. But it is not just increased climate variability and its socio-economic consequences that could compound instability and violent conflict in the future. The scale of transformation required to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis, as well as the speed and orderliness with which any such transition must occur, carries additional risk and demands more attention from scholars and policymakers. That was the
conclusion of a virtual roundtable organized by the UK Ministry of Defence’s Climate Change & Sustainability Directorate and Loughborough University in May 2022, led by the authors of this briefer. The following draws from the roundtable conversations.
Read the full briefer here.
New Study: Increased Risk of Armed Conflict Onset After Climate Related Disasters
Over the past decade, understanding of the relationship between natural disasters, climate change and conflict has increased significantly. The Center for Climate and Security has been exploring case studies of this relationship since 2012, and four years ago, a major study of global datasets found that the “risk of armed-conflict outbreak is enhanced by climate-related disaster occurrence in ethnically fractionalized countries.”
The most recent addition to this growing body of literature is Tobias Ide and his colleagues (2020), who have presented the first multi-method study of climate-related disasters and conflict. They investigate the nature of the pathways connecting these disasters to conflict, as well as the contextual factors. Overall, the authors find that there is “an increased risk of armed conflict onset immediately after climate related disasters.” That’s a significant finding, though the relationship is not a generic one. (more…)
U.S. Department of Defense Funds Research on Capturing Water from Fog
By Marc Kodack
Ensuring sufficient potable water supplies are available for its military and humanitarian operations, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will be challenged to meet these potable water needs as climate change and its effects on water supply are felt around the world. To help address this, DoD awarded a grant to California State University, Monterrey Bay to test the efficiencies of capturing water, via mesh-based devices, from “fog events” along coastal California. The grant was from DoD’s Research and Education Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Minority-Serving Institutions. A mesh device produces potable water that can be used by people and for irrigation. The research will also “expand knowledge about the generation and dissipation of fog” using existing droplet measuring technology.
The Streetlight Effect in Climate-Conflict Research on Africa
By Cullen Hendrix, Senior Research Advisor, The Center for Climate and Security
Climate change research on Africa has a streetlight problem: researchers tend to invest more attention on former British colonies and countries with relatively open, stable political systems than other countries, with these factors emerging as more important than objective indicators of “need” like physical exposure to climate change or adaptive capacity. That is, our research seems less guided by objective need and more guided by convenience/safety concerns. (more…)