UK United Kingdom

Climate affects international human conflict and violence

A strong correlation between changes in climate and rates of human violence around the world has been found.

The study data covers all major regions of the world and shows similar patterns of conflict linked to climatic changes, such as increased drought or higher than average annual temperature.

Examples include spikes in domestic violence in India and Australia; increased assaults and murders in the United States and Tanzania; ethnic violence in Europe and South Asia; land invasions in Brazil; police using force in Holland; civil conflicts throughout the tropics; and even the collapse of Mayan and Chinese empires.

The findings could have critical implications for the impact of future climate change on human societies.

Read more at University of California, Berkeley

Join the conversation

2 Comments sorted by

  1. John Campbell


    Interesting, years ago a relative of mine reported that violence and murders always spiked in Hong Kong during the (marginally) hotter time of the year.

  2. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    Funny thing facts.

    The biggest loss of life to violence occurred on the freezing Eastern front as Russian and German soldiers slaughtered each in the tens of millions. The next in line was the brutal rape and murdering of tens of millions of Chinese by the Japanese during the same period. Prior to that, it was a bloke called Genghis Khan a thousand years ago.

    Climate and climate change had nothing to do with any of the above. In fact, there has never been a total war with casualties anywhere those mentioned.

    So, if you are human and you want to minimise the chances of your family being slaughtered, move to a hotter climate or pray that climate change warms up the Russian steppes.

    Gerard Dean