Sunday, September 01, 2013

Is the Syrian conflict a climate war? Part 3


Further Reading


In the previous two posts about the Syrian conflict I have suggested that the roots of the disaster lie in climate change.  A key feature of the current coverage of the reporting on the conflict is the absence of consideration of the origins, particularly any reference to global warming. Global policy decisions are being made with reference to symptoms not causes.

It turns out that there is an extensive literature relating what may be the Fertile Crescent's worst drought since the Neolithic to man-made climate change. Importantly, warnings were made of social unrest and military conflict that would be the likely consequences if the effects of the drought were not mitigated.  These warnings were issued in timely manner but, at least to any meaningful extent, were left unheeded, action not taken.

I list below a selection of reading, from short blog-pieces and journalists' reports to academic papers and lengthy reports from international organisations.

Water resources management in Syria
The Fertile Crescent
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent
18 May 2009
Climate change, water resources, and the politics of adaptation in the Middle East and North Africa
Jeannie Sowers·Avner Vengosh·Erika Weinthal
Climatic Change  DOI 10.1007/s10584-010-9835-4
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jlu36/CCSowersVengoshWeinthal.pdf
11 August 2009
Syria Drought Response Plan
Report from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-drought-response-plan
24 November 2009
Syria: Drought response faces funding shortfall
IRIN
http://www.irinnews.org/report/87165/syria-drought-response-faces-funding-shortfall
2009
Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate change and the risk of violent conflict in the Middle East
Oli Brown, Alex Crawford
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD
http://www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?id=1130
16 January 2010
Drought drives Middle Eastern pepper farmers out of business, threatens prized heirloom chiles
Gary Nabhan
http://grist.org/food/2010-01-15-drought-drives-middle-eastern-peppers/
17 February 2010
Syria: Over a million people affected by drought
INRIN
http://www.irinnews.org/report/88139/syria-over-a-million-people-affected-by-drought
25 March 2010
Syria: Why the water shortages?IRIN
http://www.irinnews.org/report/88554/
13 October 2010
Earth Is Parched Where Syrian Farms Thrived
Robert F. Worth, Hwaida Saad
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/world/middleeast/14syria.html
2010
Drought Vulnerability in the Arab Region – Special Case Study: Syria
Wadid Erian. Bassem Katlan & Ouldbdey Babah
http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/gar/2011/en/bgdocs/Erian_Katlan_&_Babah_2010.pdf
June 2011
Global and Local Economic Impacts of limate Change in Syria and Options for Adaptation
Clemens Breisinger et al.
International Food Policy Research Initiative (IFPRI)
http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ifpridp01091.pdf
27 October 2011
NOAA study: Human-caused climate change a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20111027_drought.html
16 February 2012
Sowing the Seeds of Dissent: Economic Grievances and the Syrian Social Contract’s Unraveling
Suzanne Saleeby
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4383/sowing-the-seeds-of-dissent_economic-grievances-an
29 February 2012
Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest
Francesco Femia & Caitlin Werrell
http://climateandsecurity.org/2012/02/29/syria-climate-change-drought-and-social-unrest/
June 2013
Syria, Water, Climate Change, and Violent Conflict
Peter Gleick
ScienceBlogs
http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2013/06/10/syria-water-climate-change-and-violent-conflict/

3 Comments:

Blogger biffvernon said...

Another excellent piece from Peter Sinclair: http://climatecrocks.com/2013/09/05/how-climate-change-primed-syria-for-war/

2:10 pm  
Blogger Biff Vernon said...

22nd January 2014 Good to see the issue of drought in Syria reaching the NY Times (at last): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/opinion/friedman-wikileaks-drought-and-syria.html

6:09 pm  
Blogger Biff Vernon said...

Two years on and Nick Brookes brings us an excellent update: http://nickbrooks.org/2015/09/03/climate-change-syria-and-conflicts-to-come/

9:46 pm  

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