This lecture is hosted by the Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship
Speaker: Professor Mark A. Cane, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences,Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Summary: Why do men fight? Have changes in climate been an important influence in the past? Will they be in the future?
Anthropologists and historians have a rich store of anecdotal evidence, but since this evidence relies heavily on simple co-occurrence it invites skepticism. A recent, contrasting approach applies quantitative methods to investigate the connection between climate and conflict. This discourse in this sub-field is fittingly cantankerous. Whereas historians often have plausible stories explaining the causal links from climate to conflict, the quants rarely offer more than a statistical relation.
Mark will discuss his own work on two topics: El Niño and global incidence of civil conflict, and the impact of anthropogenic climate change on the civil war in Syria.