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Migration and violent conflict

Migration and violent conflict

Read this text before watching the video above.

We have seen that global warming will have direct impacts on health, primarily due to changes in the frequency of extreme weather including heat, drought and heavy rain. We have also observed examples of indirect effects mediated through natural systems such as changing infectious disease patterns and food and water-borne diseases. Finally we have observed the effects on social systems, such as community displacement, food insecurity and mental stress. Now we will touch on how all those factors may contribute to problems of mass migration and armed conflict.

Evidence of climate change’s effects on conflict and civil unrest is complex and contested, however in many statistical studies the influence of climate variability on violent conflict is enormous. Climate change will increasingly shape national security conditions and policies. There will also be trans-national impacts on shared water resources and fish stocks, having the potential to increase rivalry between nations (IPCC Chapters 12 and 19).

Watch the video above to get a sense of the factors that can trigger mass migration and violent conflict.

Then move on to the discussion.


D. McCoy and N.Watts. 2015. Climate Change: Health Impacts and Opportunities a Summary and Discussion of the IPCC Working Group 2 Report.

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L.White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1132 pp.

For suggestions for further reading, please see the ‘See Also’ section at the end of this page.

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Global Health, Conflict and Violence

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