According to a controversial study by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, global warming and extremes of rainfall, both deluge and drought, are associated with major upswings in violence. This violence is more prevalent between groups of people than individuals.
By casting a very broad net, evaluating studies of various types of violence – assault and murder, civil wars, riots, etc., throughout human history, the researchers were able to estimate and extrapolate the future size of the effect.
For each standard deviation of warming – a statistical measure of variation from average conditions the frequency of conflicts between groups rises by 14%. Since populous areas might warm by between two and four standard deviations from the current norm by 2050, there might be a major uptick in violence around the globe.
In an interesting twist, the Berkeley team’s findings derive from analysis of brief departures from average conditions – and not the extreme, long-lasting effects from global warming, which means, their predictions might not be drastic enough.
Experts speculate that extreme weather conditions will cause economic disruptions propel populations into conflict.