Climate change and conflict: it’s complicated. Sharing scarce water resourses will be major issue.

by Philippa Garson

Parched earth following a drought in northern Afghanistan. The region has been hit by increasingly unpredictable weather, with most experts agreeing it is an effect of climate change. Photo: Joe Dyke/IRIN

Whether dramatic changes in weather patterns drive conflict has long been the subject of great debate. Did a series of droughts precipitate the collapse of the Khmer Empire in the early 15th century, for example? Or was the Little Ice Age in the mid-17th century a leading cause of the rampant warfare in Europe, China and the Ottoman Empire?

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