Mar 17, 2016

A major contributor to the Syrian conflict? Climate change

Syria
by
Vikram Mansharamani
,
PBS NewsHour
Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria February 4, 2016. Photo: Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters
Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria February 4, 2016. Photo: Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters

Starting in 2006, Syria suffered its worst drought in 900 years; it ruined farms, forced as many as 1.5 million rural denizens to crowd into cities alongside Iraqi refugees and decimated the country’s livestock. The suffering and social chaos caused by the drought were important drivers of the initial unrest. Climate scientists have argued that global warming very likely exacerbated the historic drought, thanks to potentially permanent changes to wind and rainfall patterns