Climate Change and Conflict

This study should've been released a few weeks ago, when it might have reduced the rampant head-scratching that resulted following the announcement that Al Gore would receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Just a little bit, anyway.

According to Georgia Tech university researchers, as temperatures decreased several centuries ago during a period called the Little Ice Age, the number of wars increased, famine spiked, and population declined. The idea is that changes in climate—whether they involve boost or a decline in temperature—affect water supplies and seasons, disrupting food supplies. Food shortages can produce conflicts, and the resulting wars, combined with starvation, result in population decline.

Georgia Tech researcher Peter Brecke says today's warming temperatures could eventually lead to starvation and food-related clashes in the future.—Gregory Mone