30 March 2014

IPCC’s Working Group II Report Cites CCAPS Research

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Working Group II report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, includes a chapter on human security and cites the work of four CCAPS researchers focusing on the nuanced relationship between climate change and human insecurity.

The CCAPS researchers cited in the report include Joshua Busby from the University of Texas at Austin, Cullen Hendrix from the University of Denver, Clionadh Raleigh  from the University of Sussex, and Idean Salehyan from the University of North Texas. 

Joshua Busby’s research on mapping climate security vulnerability in Africa, published in International Security with his co-authors Todd G. Smith, Kaiba White, and Shawn Strange in 2013, is referenced in the report. Their article explains how they used indicators on climate-related hazards, population density, household and community resilience, and governance and political violence to develop a model assessing vulnerability in Africa. The authors found that the places in Africa most vulnerable to the security consequences of climate change are parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and South Sudan.

The Working Group II report cites Clionadh Raleigh’s analysis of conflict and climate in East Africa, published in the Journal of Peace Research with her colleague Dominic Kniveton in 2012. Their article argues that in locations that experience communal conflict events, the frequency of events increases in periods of extreme rainfall variation, irrespective of the sign of the rainfall change. Clionadh Raleigh’s 2011 article in Global Environmental Change, which discusses the impact of conflict patterns on migration, is included in the report in its assessment of violent conflict and climate change. She is also a contributing author of the report's regional chapter on Africa. 

In its discussion of climate change as a cause of conflict, the report references Cullen Hendrix and Idean Salehyan’s article in the Journal of Peace Research which uses data from the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) to examine the relationship between environmental shocks and social unrest. That CCAPS researchers conclude that “extreme deviations in rainfall – particularly dry and wet years – are associated positively with all types of political conflict, though the relationship is strongest with respect to violent events, which are more responsive to abundant than scarce rainfall.”

The Working Group II report is available here


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