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Quantifying the Influence of Climate Change on Human Conflict

Panel Discussion | November 18 | 12-1 p.m. | Goldman School of Public Policy, 250 GSPP West


Solomon Hsiang, Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy; Marshall Burke, PhD Candidate, Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley; Edward Miguel, Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action, UC Berkeley

Center for Environmental Public Policy


A rapidly growing body of research examines whether human conflict can be affected by climatic changes. Drawing from archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology, we assemble and analyze the 60 most rigorous quantitative studies and document, for the first time, a striking convergence of results. We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict across a range of spatial and temporal scales and across all major regions of the world. The magnitude of climate’s influence is substantial: for each one standard deviation (1s) change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises 4% and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14%. Because locations throughout the inhabited world are expected to warm 2s to 4s by 2050, amplified rates of human conflict could represent a large and critical impact of anthropogenic climate change.


Please make "RSVP seminar" the subject line of your email. RSVP by November 14 by emailing Leo Covis at cepp@berkeley.edu.


cepp@berkeley.edu