Features / Analysis

More Wars in Africa

Study says global warming will cause more wars in AfricaGlobal warming will increase by 54 percent the number of conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and lead until 393 more people dead, according to a recent study by researchers from several U.S. universities. The scientists analyzed historical data from 1981 to 2002 and introduced in models for calculating the indicators of the importance of agricultural crops, since 90 percent of their population employed in agriculture.

"The rise in temperature by one degree Celsius causes an increase of 4.5 percent in the number of civil conflicts in the same year and 0.9 percent next year," says the study, published in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Science. All mathematical models used by scientists involved - the universities of Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, California and New York - show a correlation between temperature rise and rise of civil wars.

"In combination with models of projected climate change in the future, the historical response to temperature increases suggest an increase of 54 percent of the number of armed conflicts in 2030," the report said. Another conclusion is that the number of deaths in conflicts boosted by these changes is higher than in wars motivated by other factors. The calculations indicate an additional number of 393 people dead by 2030.

"If climate change is felt in particular by the conflicts that have effects on crop yields, then, given the importance of agriculture for African countries, their governments and donors can contribute to the reduction of risks of conflict especially helping agricultural sector to cope with increases in temperature, argue the authors of the study. For example, suggest "develop varieties of agricultural products more adapted to temperature changes and help these countries build infrastructure to allow irrigation.

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