The anticipated effects of climatic changes will have serious implications for human wellbeing and security. Quantitative efforts, however, to assess how the impacts will influence the future probability of armed conflict and unrest are relatively limited. Improving the understanding of these dynamics as well as projecting how conflicts may emerge over the next few decades is critical for developing interventions and adaptations to mitigate these risks. 

In this three-year project, we aim to develop a consistent and integrated model that projects climate damages and future global and regional conflict burdens under a range of future climate change and socioeconoimc trajectories. We will examine the implications of existing literature as well as test new hypotheses of how the impacts of climate change may influence conflict, specifically through changes in economic growth, human health, agricultural productivity, institutional capacity and other known conflict predictors. 

We have brought together a highly interdisciplinary team for this effort:

The Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM) in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland leads the effort with its experience with data and policy analysis for the security community.


The Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), a leading political science research institute based in Norway, has extensively expertise in climate and conflict as well as forecasting conflict.


The Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), a joint center between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland, houses an interdisciplinary team dedicated to understanding the problems of global climate change and their potential solutions.


This project was made possible by funding through the Minerva Initiative of the US Department of Defense. Prime Award No. W911NF1310307.