What's the Latest Development?
In an article recently published in Science, a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, conclude that rising temperatures and wetter seasons will aggravate regions across the world already prone to conflict. "As resources become scarcer, the logic goes, the number of violent conflicts across the globe will increase. At first glance, the claim would seem to make sense." Citing potential violence in India and Australia, and ethnic conflict in Europe and South Asia, the researchers examined 60 studies from a variety of disciplines and came to the conclusion that global warming clearly increases the danger of violent conflict.
What's the Big Idea?
Since its publication, the study has attracted a round of criticism so strong that some have asked after what peer review the study received before being published in Science. A major challenge to the study claims it confuses weather with climate, and while many studies show that hot weather makes people more aggressive, climate change will occur gradually over decades. A spokeswoman for Science, though, said that she sees nothing disadvantageous in the debate. "Researchers publish work in the scholarly literature so that it can be further scrutinized, replicated, confirmed, rebutted or corrected. This is the way science advances."
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