Did climate change cause the Syrian uprising?

Climate change played a role in the Syrian uprising, according to a new study. Due to the devastating drought and subsequent lack of food and water in rural areas, hundreds of thousands fled to the cities, where existing problems were only exacerbated by the influx of new mouths to feed, Kennedy writes.

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters/File
A Syrian living in Jordan shouts slogans against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad amidst Syrian opposition flags during a protest marking two years since the start of the uprising, in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman, Jordan.

A new study on the Arab Spring and Climate Change, finds evidence to suggest that it was not merely a coincidence that the Syrian revolution began just as the entire country was still struggling to survive after the worst drought ever recorded.

Between 2006 and 2011 nearly 60% of Syria experienced the worst drought ever, turning much of the country’s farmland into barren dust bowls, and resulting in a series of severe crop failures.

Due to the devastating drought and subsequent lack of food and water in rural areas hundreds of thousands fled to the cities, where existing problems were only exacerbated by the influx of new mouths to feed.

As water became scarcer some farmers turned to groundwater supplies to continue to grow their crops, but this then caused ground water levels around the country to plummet, compounding the effects of the drought. (Related article: Syria Chemical Attack Raises Sinister Questions

The water and food shortages then led to unrest and anger amongst the populace which eventually culminated in a revolution in 2011.

Since that time the conflict has created one million refugees, left more than 70,000 dead, and cost billions in destroyed homes, businesses, and livelihoods.

Syria is not the only country that has been badly affected by climate change.

A lack of rain in Libya led Moammar Gadhafi to develop an elaborate irrigation system to pump water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, water which has been stored there since the last ice age 40,000 years ago. The problem is that Egypt, Chad, and Sudan all share the water, so as it depletes tensions are bound to rise.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/How-Climate-Change-Caused-the-Syrian-Revolution.html

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Did climate change cause the Syrian uprising?
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0325/Did-climate-change-cause-the-Syrian-uprising
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe