Projections of Future Global Conflict Burdens

We generate estimates of the likely onset, duration and termination of future violent conflict events under a range of alternative socioeconomic and climate change scenarios from the present to the end of century.
  1. Scenarios for both socio-economic and climate change variables that are internally consistent and span the range of expected projections for the future.
  2. Statistical models of the interactions between the physical impacts of climate change, socioeconomic variables and conflict
  3. A simulation approach that generates probabilistic forecasts and models emergent system behavior by incorporating variables that are endogenous to the conflict

Projections of Probability of Conflict in 2100 under the Different Shared Socioeconomic Pathways.

Note that this is without climate feedbacks.

Future Climate and Socioeconomic Scenarios

Led by Stephanie Waldhoff and Katherine Calvin, JGCRI

The climate change research community has developed harmonized scenarios to produce consistent assessment of the costs of mitigation, adaptation and impacts across diverse climate change research community. We are leveraging existing efforts to develop new climate and socioeconomic scenarios, known as the representative concentration pathways (RCP) and shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP). Each SSP has its own implication for climate change and its impacts - i.e., these are different "future worlds" on which we compare the costs and challenges of achieving different carbon constraints. We extract conflict predictors from these narratives, such as population and GDP. 

Adapted from the meeting report of the Workshop on The Nature and Use of New Socioeconomic Pathways for Climate Change Research

Building Statistical Model of Conflict and Climate

Led by Elisabeth Gilmore, CISSM and Halvard Buhaug, PRIO

The relationship between the physical manifestations of climate change (e.g. changes in temperature and precipitation) and forms of human conflict is ambiguous. The physical consequences of climate change, however, may pose increased risks by putting pressure on known predictors of conflict. For example,

  • Adapting to these challenges may be costly leading to economic stagnation.
  • Changes in precipitation patterns may lead to a loss of agricultural livelihood as well as increases in food and water insecurity.
  • Increased vulnerability to nature could increase exposure to health risks. 

Buhaug H, NP Gleditsch, and OM Theisen. 2010. Implications of Climate Change for Armed Conflict. In R. Mearns and A.P. Norton, eds., Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World. The World Bank (75–101).

Simulation Approach
Led by Håvard Hegre, PRIO and Uppsala
Starting with these relationships, we estimate a multinomial logit model with lagged dependent variables and interaction terms between explanatory variables and the lagged dependent variables (e.g. GDP/capita, population, past conflict, time in peace, time since independence). We then employ a simulation approach developed by Håvard Hegre and described in more detail at and