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Atlantic Cities’ John Metcalfe recently ran a piece arguing that water scarcity – with an emphasis on more severe drought – is the most immediate threat emanating from a changing climate. While we would add “water variability” to that assessment (as too much water, or too much or too little water when you’re expecting something different, are consequences of climate change that are also problematic factors that compound scarcity), it’s important to highlight this issue in the mainstream media, which tends to primarily focus on sea level rise and extreme storms. Given the IPCC’s assessment that we’re already seeing extended droughts that are likely linked to climate change, and recent studies such as NOAA’s 2011 report which linked climate change to the decrease in winter precipitation in the Mediterranean littoral and the Mashreq since the 1970s, its a prescient warning.
The Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre, an entity established by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign in 2008, has recently released a report on the complex sources of political, economic and social instability in Yemen, and the international dimensions of that instability. The report also touches on the water and climate change dimensions of the country’s security profile. Here are the relevant passages: (more…)