In a report released last fall, the Department of Defense referred to climate change as a “threat multiplier. So lets examine the current conflict in Syria.
Drought is a contributing factor to the Syrian civil war. The drought started in 2006 and continued for another three years. Many Syrian farmers could not survive on their farms and so migrated to the cities with their families.
The result: Syria, which had been a net exporter of food became a net importer. And rising food prices – a global condition – led to political unrest in these over-crowded cities.
The drought destabilized Syria. There were political and religious factors that also contributed to the Syrian civil war, but without the drought these factors may not have led to the rebellion in a country that had been comparatively stable.
So there is a clear link between climate change and the Syrian conflict.
Remember this connection when considering the magnitude of the refugee crisis. This crisis will be mild when compared to what will happen in a world that is 2°C warmer.