Is Syria conflict a case study for climate change and hunger-related conflict?

by Geoffrey Mohan

Climate change probably worsened the drought that caused severe crop failure¬† that preceded Syria’s uprising, a new study suggests. Here, a refugee camp is seen in Syria near the Turkish border town of Cilvegozu. Photo: Gregorio Borgia / Associated PressClimate change probably worsened the drought that caused severe crop failure¬† that preceded Syria’s uprising, a new study suggests. Here, a refugee camp is seen in Syria near the Turkish border town of Cilvegozu. Photo: Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press

Climate change contributed to the severity of a record-setting drought that led to agricultural collapse in Syria’s breadbasket region, pushing rural residents into crowded cities where the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad began, according to a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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