08/24/2011 03:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Nature : El Nino Warming Linked to a Fifth of Civil Conflicts Since 1950

First came science fiction — with brave new worlds, meteors, earthquakes, and rising sea levels causing mass exodus, war, and worse — and there was no reason to react because it was science fiction.

Then came fiction — with well-researched accounts of Climate Wars to come in the not-so-distant future — and there was no reason to react because it was still in the future.

Then came science — with Nature publishing an analysis that shows how climate changes were a factor in a fifth of all civil conflicts between 1950 and 2004 and now there is no place left to hide and deny a link between climate and human suffering to the point of flat-out war.

Annual Conflict Risk increases in countries connected to El Niño, not in those unconnected. (Source: Hsiang, S. M., Meng, K. C. & Cane, M. A. Nature 476, 438-441 (2011).)

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