African women suffer climate change effects

December 4, 2009

A study by US researchers has shown that climate change has been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa. It said conflict was about 50% more likely in unusually warm years.

Strife is more frequent in times of food scarcity caused by warmer conditions. Women in particular suffer the effects.

An October report published by the US National Academy of Sciences titled Warming Increases the Risk of Civil War in Africa pointed to reduced resource security due to climate change, from lower water tables to crop failure, as conflict drivers.

It said increased resource competition as communities migrate to areas of higher abundance, threatening access for existing populations.

The report said a 1°C increase in temperature could potentially lead to a 4.5% increase in conflict. The study forecast a 50% increase in conflicts over the next 20 years as temperatures rise.

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