Climate variability and conflict
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While there is an overall consensus on many aspects of the natural science of climate change, the understanding of the potential effects that climate change and climate variability have on human societies is limited. Among the most severe suggested social outcomes is the increased risk of social conflict. In recent years, there has been a vast increase in the number of quantitative studies published on the topic of climate variability and conflict. Despite remarkable advances in, for instance, the development of high-resolution datasets, there is still a lack of consensus in the research area. This dissertation asks: Is there a relationship between climate variability and conflict, and if there is a relationship between these phenomena, how is it likely to materialize? The dissertation consists of four essays which, together with the introduction, focus on increasing the understanding of those conditions where we can expect climate variability to be related to conflict. This is an important question to answer for the research area of climate variability and conflict if we want to move beyond correlation analyses and understand how these two phenomena are potentially related. Answering this question is also a prerequesite for discussing how security levels are likely to be affected by climate change in the future. The findings in this dissertation support the hypothesis that individuals and groups are likely to respond strategically to their environment, but this does not necessarily result in conflicts. Humans have the ability to act in a magnitude of ways when facing climate change and climate variability, and conflict represent only one of these possible outcomes.