The climate bomb: who was the first to unleash nuclear war over fresh water

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / hlehnerer Depositphotos / realinemediaИзменение climate and water warThe climate bomb: who was the first to unleash nuclear war over fresh water© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / hlehnerer Depositphotos / realinemediaПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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According to popular in recent years the concept of «climate wars», with the development of the greenhouse effect increases the risk of armed conflict. The shortage of fresh water, droughts, crop failures cause mass migration, the political situation escalates, start fighting. The proof is the civil war in Sudan and Syria. This view is not supported by all.

The Darfur conflict and climate

In 2003-2005, inter-ethnic clashes in the Western region of Sudan, Darfur has claimed the lives of several hundred thousand people.

Some politicians try to explain it to environmental factors: droughts, shortage of fresh water, crop failures.

The conflict in Darfur called the world’s first «climate war.» This concept of actively promoting academic scientists, ecologists and politicians in the EU and the USA.

A poor country with very limited water resources, a weak state government has failed to cope with the effects of climate change, say the supporters of the new theory. Lack of water, expanding deserts, loss of livestock due to the lack of pastures has led to the migration of Arab nomadic tribes in the South and the civil war.

Conflict was preceded by a drought of 2006-2011, which experts consider to be the most long in the history of civilization in the Fertile Crescent, and crop failures. Began a massive migration of rural population to the city. the riots occurred.

Gleick, indicates that the population of Syria from 1950 to 2012 increased from three to 22 million, the water availability has fallen from 5,500 to 760 cubic meters per person per year. In XX century the country suffered six severe droughts.

To the environment were added to economic factors. Intensive agriculture has depleted groundwater for irrigation of crops. Permission to privatize land eventually forced the tenant farmers, removed from their homes.

«Climate change can not change this trend either in Sudan or anywhere else,» the scientists say.

About the relation of armed conflict with anthropogenic climate change in the scientific community there is no consensus, says Selby. He has extensively studied the natural conditions in Syria before the war. Indeed, the severe drought was, but only in the North-Eastern region and five years in a row, and three seasons: 2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. Worst of all had the cities of Qamishli, where in 2007-2008 had a quarter of the average rainfall over the past 30 years, and Deir-er-Zor — only 12 percent.

The migration of half a million people from drought Selby also questioned. According to the UN, by summer 2009, the countryside is left 40-60 thousand families. Not so much due to poor harvests, many as a result of experiments with the economy. Scientist have not found the linkage between drought, migration and political crisis in the country.

Selby does not deny the influence of climatic factors, however, the civil war in Syria, there are more significant reasons.

In the South some regions water scarcity is already in evidence, the expert notes.

This is confirmed by the Department of land hydrology geographical faculty of Moscow state University and point four low-water period in the basin of the don, which observed since the middle of last century. Last, the most anomalous, lasted from 2007 to 2015. Water deficit river 44.3 cubic kilometers.

Of particular concern to experts-hydrologists causes Asia, with its rapid population growth and the economy. Water there need more. Predict that by the middle of the XXI century, a quarter of the Asian region will be the area of water conflicts.

In the acute stage is a contention over access to the Indus river between the nuclear powers India and Pakistan.

Africa, where rampant drought and savagely exploited water resources is one of the most problematic regions. In recent years the area of lake Chad, which supplies water to forty million citizens of the four countries has decreased by 15 percent.

«Risks associated with fresh water, will increase significantly with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere», — quotes Sergey Semenov, one of the conclusions of the Fifth assessment report of the IPCC.

Because the planet is heterogeneous in climatic and ecological terms, and unequal warming of the regions. The climate bomb: who was the first to unleash nuclear war over fresh water© REUTERS / Akhtar Omgames water: drinking crisis appointed to 2035

«The variations in the amount of precipitation falling in the wet and dry regions and during wet and dry seasons will increase (with exceptions),» the scientist said, referring to the same report. And he adds: «In most regions of the dry subtropics resources surface water and groundwater will be reduced, which will increase competition for water between sectors of the economy.»

«Notice: between sectors, not between countries. Now the media like to talk about the climate wars. In my opinion, climate wars is fantasy, although some States and there is tension due to the boundary reservoirs. Modern regional conflicts in a more traditional roots — the competition for political, economic and ideological influence,» — concludes Semenov.