Jan 30, 2015

Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought

by
Colin P. Kelley, Shahrzad Mohtadi, Mark A. Cane, Richard Seager, Yochanan Kushnir
,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • States there is evidence that the 2007−2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria
  • States the drought was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers
  • States that century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results, strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007−2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone
  • Concludes that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict