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Climate-terrorism nexus? A preliminary review/analysis of the literature



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Climate Change - Terrorism Nexus? A Preliminary Review/
Analysis of the Literature
by Jeremiah O. Asaka
Climate change and terrorism are two key global security concerns of our time. Despite that fact, the two continue
to predominantly be analyzed separately by most security studies scholars. However, interest on the interplay
between these two concerns has grown considerably particularly over the past two decades. e growth in interest
is attributable to the close to two decades of scholarship on the climate-security nexus. at scholarship establishes
climate change as a threat multiplier, which worsens existing problems and aggravates vulnerabilities. is text
presents ndings of a preliminary literature review/analysis of 112 documents published between 2000 and 2020.
e literature review/analysis was guided by the following three broad questions. What does the literature say about
the link and/or lack thereof between climate change and terrorism? What is the publication trend for literature
that explore the relationship between climate change and terrorism? What insight(s) for future policy and/or
research? e text identies two patterns of interaction with regards to the interplay between climate change and
terrorism. On one hand, a simple one-way indirect relationship wherein climate change aggravates existing social
vulnerability, which is a known enabler/driver of terrorism. On the other hand, a complex relationship wherein
climate change contributes to terrorism and vice versa through a self-reinforcing process characterized by feedback
Keywords: Climate change, terrorism, climate security, global security, human security, environmental security
Since the end of Cold War, security thinking has evolved considerably. Security no longer simply revolves
around a given state’s concern(s) with imagined/real external aggression threats from either another state’s
military (or joint military force involving an alliance of states) or non-state actor(s) particularly an individual
terrorist (also known as lone wolf ) and/or amorphous terrorist organization (for example, Al Qaeda, Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS], Al Shabaab, and Boko Haram). Today, the notion of security encompasses issues
that were previously considered to be outside its purview such as climate change, pandemics (for example,
coronavirus disease of 2019 [COVID-19], Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS], and Middle
East Respiratory Syndrome [MERS]), disasters (for example, hurricanes, wildres, droughts, and oods) and
a host of other concerns which are usually framed under the human security banner, including food security,
economic security, personal security, community security, political security, health security, and environmental
security, among others.[1] Indeed, today even proponents of state-centered security (national security) are
increasingly framing issues such as climate change and infectious diseases in security terms.[2]
Concern over security implications of climate change dates back several decades and continues to grow both
among security studies scholars and policy makers.[3] e broad and growing literature on a climate-security
nexus is predominantly focused on understanding the relationship between climate change and security in all
its facets.[4] erefore, the literature can be grouped into several not-quite-comprehensive and not-so-neatly
dened categories as follows.
• Climate and conict/peace literature, which initially primarily looked at climate change’s threat
multiplier eect on existing conicts but has since evolved to also focus on the conict/peace potential
of climate change adaptation and mitigation.[5]
• Climate change and natural disasters literature explores what climate change’s eect on the intensity
and frequency of weather-related disasters such as hurricanes, oods, tropical cyclones, droughts, and
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wildres among others means for security of individuals, communities, cities, and countries across
dierent geographical contexts.[6]
• Climate change and the resource nexus literature shows how climate variability and climate change
acting, for example, on the water-energy-food nexus can exacerbate human insecurities in a variety of
ways in various geographical contexts across the globe.[7]
• e literature on climate change and public health examines the inuence of climate change on disease
emergence, spread, and spatial distribution to understand what it means for global health security. is
literature establishes that climate change contributes both to the emergence of new pandemics as well
as the continued spatial spread of diseases across various geographical contexts.[8]
• A nal category involves literature that explores the interplay between climate change and migration.
is literature explains how climate change acting on existing social vulnerabilities predisposes certain
sections of human population in places like Central America and Mexico among others to migrate as
a coping strategy—usually with far-reaching implications for their own human security as well as the
homeland security of the migrant-receiving countries such as the United States.[9]
ese are just a few examples of ways that extant literature frames and/or explores the climate-security nexus.
A relatively recent and growing area of interest—for both scholars and policy makers—within the climate-
security nexus scholarship concerns the relationship and/or lack thereof between climate change and terrorism.
[10] An increasing number of security studies scholars—especially scholars of national/homeland security—
are concerned with understanding the interplay between climate change and terrorism.[11] It is this specic
aspect of the climate-security nexus that this Research Note concerns itself with. It documents ndings of a
preliminary literature review/analysis of the interplay between climate change and terrorism in various geo-
political contexts. is literature review/analysis was guided by the following three broad questions. (i) What
does the literature say about the link and/or lack thereof between climate change and terrorism? (ii) What is the
publication trend for literature that explore the relationship between climate change and terrorism? (iii) What
insight(s) can we derive for future policy and/or research?
is Research Note is divided into four sections. Following this introduction is a methods section, which
discusses the methodological aspects of the text, including literature search, selection and review/analysis.
is is then followed by a ndings and discussion section organized around the three guiding questions (i, ii &
iii). Finally, the Research Note ends with a conclusion section, which summarizes its key ndings and makes
recommendations for future policy and research.
Literature Review/Analysis
Literature search was purposely limited to the period between January 2000 and February 2020. It proceeded as
follows. First, the author purposely selected eight reputable peer-reviewed journals with a focus on terrorism/
security/intelligence (see Table 1 for a list of journals and summary of the number of articles that were selected
for review/analysis from each journal). In selecting journals, the author was guided by whether or not a journal
is peer-reviewed and/or has a security/terrorism/intelligence focus. is being a preliminary literature review/
analysis, it is by no means exhaustive. Journals that otherwise meet the selection criteria but have not been
included here should not in any way be construed as not meriting inclusion. e following search phrases
were used to search for peer-reviewed articles within the selected journals: climate change, global warming,
and climate security. Articles that mention at least one of these terms were selected for further review/analysis.
A total of 92 peer-reviewed articles were selected for review/analysis at the end of this stage of the literature
search process.
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Tabl e 1 : A Summary of Peer-Reviewed Articles
Name of Journal Number of Articles
Perspectives on Terrorism 7
Journal of Terrorism Research 3
Studies in Conict and Terrorism 12
Terrorism and Political Violence 11
Journal of Strategic Security 18
International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism 2
International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 18
Intelligence and National Security 21
Tota l 92
Source: Author
Note: is table details the names of journals and the respective number of articles selected for review/analysis from each journal.
Second, a Google search was conducted using two key search phrases, namely climate security report and
climate change and terrorism report. Additionally, government and think-tank reports on climate change and
terrorism were also sought on websites of the following purposively selected think-tanks and United States
(U.S.) government departments/programs: U.S. Global Change Research Program, U.S. Department of Defense
(DOD), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Center for Climate and Security,
American Security Project, International Military Council on Climate and Security, and Adelphi. e choice
of these entities was primarily informed by the centrality of climate change, security, and/or terrorism to their
mission/work. As was the case with journals, this is not an exhaustive list. Any entity that is not included here
should not be seen as not meriting inclusion. Instead, non-inclusion of such entities should be understood
within the context of this text being a preliminary literature review/analysis. is stage of the literature search
process resulted in the selection of 21 reports, which were subjected to a further in-text search procedure
to identify and select only those that mention both climate change/global warming and terrorism (and its
variance, namely terrorist and terror) for review/analysis.
e in-text search was conducted using the following search words/phrases: Climate change, Global warming,
Climate security, Terrorism, Terrorist, and Terror. It proceeded as follows. For every report that mentioned
climate change, global warming, and/or climate security following an initial in-text search, a corresponding
in-text search for terrorism, terrorist, and/or terror was performed on the same. All the 21 documents were
subjected to both an initial and corresponding in-text search process. But only documents that mentioned
climate change, global warming, and/or climate security during initial in-text search and terrorism, terrorist,
and/or terror during corresponding in-text search were selected for review/analysis. A total of 17 reports were
selected for review/analysis (see Table 2).
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Tabl e 2 : A Summary of Reports
Report Reviewed/Analyzed
2005 U.S. National Defense Strategy N
2008 U.S. National Defense Strategy Y
2010 U.S. Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Y
2014 U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review Y
2014 U.S. Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Y
Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 Y
Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 N
Country Reports on Terrorism 2018 N
2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy N
2019 Report on Eects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense Y
A Climate Security Plan for America (2019) Y
A Security reat Assessment of Global Climate Change (2020) Y
Insurgency, Terrorism and Organized Crime in a Warming Climate (2016) Y
American Security Project’s Climate Security Report (2012) Y
First U.S. National Climate Assessment Report (2001) Y
Second U.S. National Climate Assessment Report (2009) Y
ird U.S. National Climate Assessment Report (2014) Y
Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment Report (2018) Y
2010 U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review Report Y
e Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent (2019) Y
2020 World Climate Security Report Y
Source: Author
Note: is table details the twenty-one reports that were initially selected for review/analysis and the seventeen that were actually
reviewed/analyzed. e rst column details all the twenty-one reports that were initially selected for review/analysis. e second
column identies the seventeen reports that were actually reviewed/analyzed. In the second column, Y indicates that a report was
reviewed/analyzed and N indicates that a report was not reviewed/analyzed.
Finally, two books and one thesis were purposely selected for review because of their centrality to the topic
at hand. In summary, this Research Note is based on a review/analysis of 112 documents. Table 3 provides a
summary of the reviewed/analyzed documents by type and quantity.
Tabl e 3 : A Summary of Reviewed/Analyzed Documents by Type and Quantity
Type of document Quantity
Peer-reviewed articles 92
Reports 17
eses 1
Books 2
Tota l 112
Source: Author
Note: is table details literature that was reviewed/analyzed by the author. Notes only contain in-text citations.
e literature review/analysis involved reading the selected documents, thematic/statistical analysis of the
same, synthesis of the ndings, and presentation of the synthesis in a concise and coherent narrative format.[12]
ematic analysis involved manual coding of the selected documents using qualitative codes, which emerged
from an initial coding of one of the selected documents entitled Insurgency, Terrorism, and Organized Crime:
Analyzing the Links Between Climate Change and Non-State Armed Groups.[13] is particular document
was purposively selected for initial coding because of its specic focus on the nexus between terrorism and
climate change, which is the primary focus of this text. e codes that emerged from the initial coding process
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are climate change, global warming, security, and terrorism. During the second cycle of coding, these codes
were subsequently organized into two broad themes: Climate change and security, and climate change and
terrorism. Finally, the third cycle of coding involved thematic analysis of the rest of the documents using these
codes. Statistical analysis involved generating a publication trend and frequency distribution. e specics of
this particular method are discussed further in the next section.
Findings and Discussion
What Is the Publication Trend for Literature at Explores the Relationship between Climate Change and
An issue of particular interest in the context of this review/analysis concerns gaining insight into the publication
trend of climate change and security/terrorism literature. In order to generate a publication trend, the author
rst tallied the number of publications for each type of document that was selected for review/analysis—
namely peer-reviewed journal articles, reports, theses, and books. is initial tallying was based on year of
publication. e resultant disaggregated data was then aggregated for each year from 2000 to 2020. With the
aid of Microsoâ Excel for Mac, the author generated and visualized a publication trend (see Table 4).
As Table 4 shows, there has been a sustained rise in the number of publications since 2000. Furthermore,
considering that peer-reviewed journal articles constitute more than eighty percent of documents reviewed/
analyzed for this text, and also that the articles were sourced from primarily national security-oriented journals,
the observed trend can be interpreted to mean that today climate change is entrenched as a security issue/
Tabl e 4 : Publication Trend
Source: Author
Note: is table details the overall trend in publication of literature on climate change and security/terrorism from 2000 to February
2020. e table is based on literature that was reviewed/analyzed by the author for this text. Notes contain in-text citations only.
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On a related note, in the process of thematically analyzing the selected documents, it became apparent that
some documents discuss climate change and security/terrorism without necessarily exploring the connection
between them. is reality necessitated a simple statistical analysis to highlight the relative distribution of the
documents based on whether or not they explore the climate security/terrorism nexus. In order to achieve this,
the author relied on insight from the thematic analysis of the documents and came up with the following three
broad categories to facilitate statistical analysis: (1) Document explores the link and/or lack thereof between
climate change and security; (2) Document specically explores the link and/or lack thereof between climate
change and terrorism; (3) Document does not explore the link and/or lack thereof between climate change and
Using a YES/NO criterion, each document was then categorized accordingly. To facilitate statistical analysis,
the author coded YES as 1 and NO as 0. With the aid of Microsoâ Excel for Mac, the author then computed
frequency distribution for the three aforementioned analytical categories and visualized the same using a
column chart (see Table 5).
Tabl e 5 : Relative Distribution of Documents Based on Whether or Not ey Explore Nexus
Source: Author
Note: is table details frequency distribution of the reviewed/analyzed documents with respect to three analytical categories: (1)
Document explores climate-security nexus; (2) Document specically explores climate-terrorism nexus; (3) Document neither
explores climate-security nexus nor climate-terrorism nexus. It is worth pointing out here that category 2 is a subset of category 1.
Meaning all documents in the former category belong in the latter category as well. But obviously not all documents in category 1
belong in category 2.
Table 5 reveals that a relatively large proportion (59 out of 112) of the literature that was reviewed/analyzed
does not explore the relationship between climate change and security. Even more important in the context
of this Research Note, Table 5 shows that a signicantly small proportion (18 out of 112) of the literature that
was reviewed/analyzed does specically explore the interplay between climate change and terrorism. Why this
is the case is open to interpretation and falls outside the scope of this Research Note (but would make for an
interesting undergraduate/graduate research project). Perhaps a nal insight from the foregoing is that climate
change is increasingly gaining traction in the literature on terrorism.
What Does the Literature Say about the Link and/or Lack ereof between Climate Change and Terrorism?
A key message emerging from the literature review concerns the existence of a relationship between climate
change and terrorism. But how does this relationship play out exactly? is Research Note nds that climate
change and terrorism are linked in at least two ways. First, there exists a simple one-way indirect link between
the two whereby climate change acts as a threat multiplier and/or enabler of terroristic activity (see Figure 1).
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In this rst relationship, climate change acting as a threat multiplier can worsen existing social vulnerability
if adaptation and/or mitigation measures are not put in place to help reduce such vulnerability and/or build
resilience.[14] Social vulnerability has been linked to both the spread of terrorism as well as the likelihood that
an individual may be recruited to join a terrorist group as the following passage notes:
Boko Haram, other radical religion-based movements, ‘for hire’ gangs of political thugs and common
criminal networks draw their support and recruits largely from poverty-stricken, destitute young males
desperate for an alternative to the life fate and history have condemned them.[15]
Foley and Holland point out that, “climate change aggravates existing poverty, social tensions, environmental
degradation, and weak political institutions; these factors may impact the numbers of terrorist organizations,
especially if the presence of the state weakens.[16] As if to reiterate this point, the 2014 quadrennial defense
review report of the U.S. DOD provides that “climate change and associated trends may also indirectly act
as ‘threat multipliers.’ ey aggravate stressors abroad that can enable terrorist activity and violence, such as
poverty, environmental degradation, and social tensions. [17]
Figure 1: A Simple One-Way Indirect Relationship between Climate Change and Terrorism
Source: Author
Note: is Figure shows a simple one-way indirect relationship between climate change and terrorism. It details how climate change’s
inuence on the intensity and frequency of weather-related disasters leads to worsening of existing social vulnerability which in turn
feeds into terrorism thereby enabling and/or driving it.
Furthermore, the literature review/analysis also establishes that context is key in determining whether or not
climate change enables terroristic activities.[18] For instance, climate change can be an enabler of terroristic
activities in a post–natural disaster context where the response capacity of the aected state and/or population
is signicantly comprised.[19] A recent United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report on the interplay
between climate change and violent extremism corroborates this point when it states, in part, that “fragile and
natural resource constrained contexts can provide fertile ground for violent extremist groups to ourish and
extend their reach, particularly, where governance and institutions are weak and may not be able to respond,
the COVID-19 pandemic serving also to highlight gaps in response.[20] With climate change expected to
aggravate the intensity and frequency of natural disasters such as hurricanes, it is possible to see how it links
to an elevated risk of terroristic activity picking up. In other words, an increase in the intensity of weather-
related natural disasters may in turn take a toll on state capacity to respond and/or cope. With state’s capacity to
respond/cope comprised, terrorist groups may nd it easy to take advantage of the situation to recruit members
and/or stage attacks on an already-vulnerable communities, cities, or countries.
Second, the literature review/analysis also establishes the existence of a complex relationship between climate
change and terrorism, which is self-reinforcing through feedback loops. at is, climate change drives and/
or enables terrorism, which in turn drives climate change through a feedback loop (see Figure 2). A case in
point is the eect of climate change on forest res and vice versa. As noted in the introduction section of this
Research Note, climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of forest res. In the wake
of increased frequency and intensity of forest res in parts of Europe, Australia, and the United States in the
recent past, an individual acting alone or as part of a terrorist group can take advantage of this emerging new
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normal to engage in pyro-terrorism.[21] Indeed, some terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda are known to have at
some point seriously considered launching arson attacks in some of these forest re–prone regions of the world
as the following passage reveals:
From the beginning of September 2008, a renewed concern emanated from Western intelligence
agencies to the eect that Al Qaeda terrorists were planning a ‘global reball,’ in a departure from its
war on the West. Deliberately lighting forest res in Europe, the United States, and Australia would not
only stretch emergency services, but would also leave insurance companies facing multibillion-dollar
claims, as the credit crunch bites. e res would also create a pollution disaster, with billions of tons of
climate change gases escaping into the atmosphere. e so-called Forest Jihad is being championed by
Islamic scholars and Osama bin Laden’s terror strategists who believe setting re to dry woodlands will
produce maximum damage at minimum risk.[22]
Pyro-terrorism—if it were ever to happen on a grand scale—would undoubtedly contribute to climate change
through emission of greenhouse gases. Climate change then in turn makes conditions favorable for pyro-
terrorism and the cycle continues probably until an intervening variable changes its course. With forest res
expected to get worse in terms of frequency and intensity as climate changes, vulnerability of forests to terrorist
attacks remains a real concern for governments across the globe.[23]
Figure 2: A Complex Relationship between Climate Change and Terrorism
Source: Author
Note: is gure shows a complex relationship between climate change and terrorism. It details a self-reinforcing feedback loop
relationship where: (1) climate change indirectly contributes to terrorism by exacerbating existing social vulnerability, and (2) pyro-
terrorism (a subset of terrorism) directly drives climate change through terrorist-instigated forest res.
From the foregoing, it is evident that climate change is without a doubt linked to terrorism and vice versa. us,
a climate-terrorism nexus does indeed exist. is nding is in tandem with existing knowledge on the broader
climate-security nexus.[24]
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What Insight(s) for Future Policy and/or Research?
Aer close to three decades of environmental security research and scholarship, and close to two decades
of research specically on security implications of climate change, it is now time to move beyond the usual
preoccupation—particularly among security studies scholars—with understanding the link between climate
change and security. While there is really nothing wrong with deepening understanding of the climate-security
nexus, it is important to be wary of paralysis of analysis and its associated dangers including inability to make
headways especially where timely decision-making aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience is
Knowledge on climate change’s contribution to human insecurity and other insecurities (for example, insecurity
relating to key critical infrastructure sectors such as water, energy, and food) is now well established. Because
of this fact, the text argues that focus should now shi toward leveraging such knowledge to guide context-
specic adaptation and/or mitigation interventions at multiple scales across the globe.
Fortunately, this perceived paralysis of analysis is somewhat limited to the academy. e U.S. DOD, for example,
has been at the forefront championing for action on climate change.[25] e U.S. military has long considered
climate change to be both a threat multiplier and an existential threat, Trump presidency’s position on climate
change notwithstanding.[26] Climate change impacts U.S. military readiness and response through several
pathways including: frequent and intense ooding which threatens military bases at home and abroad; frequent
and intense heat waves which limit outdoor training opportunities; and frequent and intense hurricanes which
overstretch the military’s response capacity in addition to threatening military bases at home and abroad. Due
to these (and other) reasons, U.S. military continues to treat climate change as a serious security concern.
Moreover, insights from the Obama presidency show considerable strides have been made on the practitioner’s
front as the following passage attests.
Under the Obama administration, a multipronged approach seems to have developed in countering
the al-Shabaab that combines hard and so power, with the United States either using unilateralism,
bilateralism, and multilateralism to counter weak, fragile states that may become homes to radical,
Islamist groups. On the multilateral side, Washington has sought to work with regional actors, such
as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union peacekeeping
operation in Somalia. With IGAD the United States is addressing human security issues by working on
climate change detection and analysis as well as the promotion of resilience in the face of environmental
insecurity. In 2016, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and IGAD signed
an agreement committing USAID to a ve-year program to increase trade, investment in food security,
and health service for marginalized communities.[27]
In the wake of recent calamities such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 desert locust invasion in
parts of Africa and the Middle East, proactive approaches exemplied in the U.S. military resilience building
endeavors and the Obama administration’s multipronged strategy point to where the focus should be moving
forward.[28] As such, future research should focus less on understanding the nexus and more on leveraging
existing knowledge on the nexus to inform policy accordingly. For example, it is known that social vulnerability
is an important bridge that links climate change and terrorism.[29] erefore, addressing social vulnerability
should be central to future research and policy. e future demands more targeted context-specic action and
less analysis for analysis sake.[30]
Climate change is real. In a security context, it is both a threat multiplier and an existential threat. is Research
Note set out to understand what extant literature says about the link and/or lack thereof between climate change
and terrorism. It establishes that climate change and terrorism are linked and that the relationship between the
two plays out in at least two dierent ways.
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On one hand, climate change aggravates existing social vulnerability which enables/drives terrorism. On the
other hand, climate change drives terrorism and vice versa through a complex relationship characterized by
feedback loops.
Importantly, this Research Note nds that existing climate-security nexus literature is to a large extent focused
more on understanding the link and/or lack thereof between the two. It nds that minimal attention is given to
actions for addressing the climate-security nexus challenge. In this regard, the Research Note makes the case
for a shi in the focus of climate-security nexus scholarship from simply explaining the nexus to changing
the nexus in such a way as to minimize its deleterious aspects. To that end, the text recommends that future
research in this area should focus on understanding how to best leverage existing knowledge on the nexus
to inform context-specic adaptation and/or mitigation intervention(s) at multiple scales across the globe.
Concerning the climate-terrorism nexus specically, focus of future scholarship should be on understanding
how to eectively reduce social vulnerability and build resilience in specic contexts especially those that have
a history of terroristic activities such as the United States, Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, and Somalia among others.
Since greater social vulnerability oen feeds into ongoing conict(s)—and/or contributes to the emergence of
domestic resource-related conicts—it tends to lead also to cross-border emigration. On the other side of the
border immigration exercises pressures on receiving countries, e.g., in Europe and North America. is, in
turn, tends to increase xenophobia which contributes to right-wing violence particularly against migrants. is
issue is of growing concern across the globe, but more so in the Sahel region, Central America, and countries
around the Mediterranean. And climate change, acting as a threat multiplier, will only make things worse.
As this preliminary review/analysis has established, climate change acts on existing vulnerabilities that serve as
actual and/or potential drivers/enablers of terrorism. erefore, future policy interventions aimed at addressing
actual and/or potential security implications of climate change should focus on reducing—ideally eliminating—
vulnerabilities especially social vulnerabilities in aected contexts around the globe. To achieve this in the
specic context of terrorism, it is imperative that climate change adaptation/mitigation be mainstreamed and
made a key aspect of global counterterrorism strategy by all concerned actors.
About the Author: Jeremiah O. Asaka is an assistant professor of security studies at Sam Houston State University,
Huntsville, TX. He specializes in human and environmental security. Email:
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[6] Ramsay, James D., and Terrence M. O’Sullivan. “ere’s a Pattern Here: e Case to Integrate Environmental Security into
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... The environment-security nexus has been an area of research interest for many scholars in various fields of inquiry within the social sciences, including international relations, political science, and security studies (Asaka, 2021a;Floyd & Matthew, 2013;Hough, 2014). This study focuses on the environment-security nexus within the context of homeland security studies. ...
... Third, literature on the interplay between climate change and disease emergence and spread (Butterworth et al., 2017;Canyon et al., 2017;Patz & Hatch, 2014). Fourth, literature on the interplay between climate change and terrorism (Asaka, 2021a(Asaka, , 2021bNett & Rüttinger, 2016;Telford, 2020). Finally, literature on the interplay between climate change and migration (Kaenzig & Piguet, 2014). ...
... The preceding revelation is more concerning because existing literature on the relationship between the environment and security is unequivocal that a nexus exists between the two. For instance, climate change is known to exacerbate existing social vulnerability, which is a known cause/driver of insecurity of various kinds, including terrorism Asaka, 2021a;Gemenne et al., 2014;Matthew, 2014), pandemics (including COVID-19) have been linked to human-wildlife interactions (Schoonover et al., 2021), and climate variability has been linked to both the emergence of new diseases and spread of existing diseases to new areas where they did not exist before (Butterworth et al., 2017;Patz & Hatch, 2014;Zhou et al., 2004). These examples highlight the environment-security nexus and show why environmental security is pertinent to homeland security studies. ...
... While some studies show that most home destinations of migrants suffer from labor shortages, shrinking agricultural labor capacities, and a reduction in the quantity and diversity of food crops [61], others point out that displaced migrants are likely to send remittances to their families from their new destinations that diversify their household income [9,62]. However, displaced migrants can also bring dire problems related to terrorism [63], crimes, and armed conflicts to destination countries [63]. After all, migration and forced displacement make the affected individuals and societies prone to high-security risks. ...
... While some studies show that most home destinations of migrants suffer from labor shortages, shrinking agricultural labor capacities, and a reduction in the quantity and diversity of food crops [61], others point out that displaced migrants are likely to send remittances to their families from their new destinations that diversify their household income [9,62]. However, displaced migrants can also bring dire problems related to terrorism [63], crimes, and armed conflicts to destination countries [63]. After all, migration and forced displacement make the affected individuals and societies prone to high-security risks. ...
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Climate change and environmental degradation remain the most complex challenges that present and future generations of humankind face and raise several security risks that have received relatively little attention in the literature. This paper aims to review the evidence of security risks arising from these challenges in the Global South and to provide forward-looking perspectives on how to increase the resilience of affected individuals and communities. We see diverse land use strategies as a key element to drive a transformation towards greater sustainability and resilience. We propose that rural land use in the Global South should be geared towards the promotion of resource and biodiversity conservation, the development of agroforestry, tree-based farming systems, the diversification of crops, and the utilization of climate-resilient cultivars, and neglected and under-utilized plants. These actions would contribute to addressing the security risks stemming from the interconnected challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.
... Of particular note is that, among the identified drivers is climate changeone of the greatest global security concerns of the 21 st Century. With Kenya (and the larger East African region) being significantly vulnerable to climate change (Asaka & Oluoko-Odingo, 2022), and climate change already negatively impacting known drivers and enablers of non-state terrorism such as social vulnerability (Asaka, 2021;Bourekba, 2021;Stuart, 2019), it is crucial to have a context-specific knowledge of how the climate-terrorism nexus plays out in Kenya for better policy and practice. Therefore, future research in this specific area should focus on: ...
... Since 2001, terrorism scholarship has increased dramatically, as has the number of research reviews. Recent terrorism research reviews have examined theoretical perspectives on terrorism (Harmon, Mujkic, Kaukinen, & Weir, 2018;Lia & Skjølberg, 2010;Schmid, 2013;Turk, 2004), lone actor terrorism (Kenyon, Baker-Beall, & Binder, 2021) terrorism and migration (Helbling & Meierrieks, 2020), female terrorism (Jacques & Taylor, 2009), tourism and terrorism (Gamage, Illangarathne, Kumudumali, & Nedelea, 2020) climate change and terrorism (Asaka, 2021) and counter-terrorism strategies (Bartlett & Reynolds, 2015;Ugorji, 2015). Most of these reviews have highlighted methodological limitations and/or empirical gaps in the literature (Freilich, Chermak, & Gruenewald, 2015;Freilich, Gruenewald, & Mandala, 2019;Haghani et al., 2022;Lum, Kennedy, & Sherley, 2006;Phillips, 2021;Sandler, 2014;Silke, 2009). ...
This paper identifies what we see as opportunities to improve data collection, analysis, and interpretation of findings in American and British terrorism research. We suggest seven directions that we see as promising. These include: 1) interview methods and reporting, 2) source reporting in database studies, prioritizing available court records, 3) more comparison groups, including non-offender activists for the same cause and non-political offenders, 4) comparison of cases with and without confidential informants, 5) extremist ideas and extremist violence studied as separate problems, 6) more attention to grievances, avoiding controversies over defining ideology and narrative, and 7) more attention to emotions of terrorists, their supporters, and their victims.
ما زالت البشرية تراكم الخبرات والمؤهلات الأساسية من أجل التصدي للمعضلة البيئية، وبلوغ فهمٍ أفضل للأحداث المناخية القاسية، من قبيل موجات الجفاف وزيادة التصحر، إلى جانب ما يرافقها من توترات سياسية وأزمات اقتصادية تساهم في النزاع على الموارد الطبيعية، وهو الأمر الذي يدفع صانعي السياسات إلى إعادة النظر في متلازمة التغير المناخي ومحركات النزاع المسلح. في هذا الصدد، تتناول الدراسة تفكيك ارتباط/ قطيعة التغير المناخي ومحركات النزاع، محاولةً التركيز على منظورات القانون الدولي، وسبل تمكين المجتمعات المحلية من التأقلم والصمود، خصوصًا في القارة الأفريقية والمنطقة العربية، وغرضها من ذلك تقديم مقترحات تتضمن مواجهة الهشاشة المناخية، واعتماد آليات الولوج المنصف إلى الموارد بوصفها خطواتٍ للحدّ من موجات النزوح، وتجنّب المخاطر المناخية، والنزاعات وانعدام الأمن.
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the ideas from social network theory to model feedback processes in climate change. We first discuss negative feedback, positive feedback, and tipping points. We then introduce the basics of social networks and show how they can be applied to the study of feedback loops.
There are many serious challenges in the world such as human trafficking, modern slavery, illegal immigration, global hunger, and terrorism. However, climate change may be the worst of all. Climate change creates poverty and consequently makes the above challenges worse.
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Scholarship examining U.S. homeland security policy proceeds from the assumption that homeland security policy-making is a largely domestic-that is, United Statescentric- endeavor. This article challenges that assumption. The mission of the Homeland Security Enterprise is domestic security but achieving a satisfactory state of preparation, prevention, response, recovery and resilience requires efforts that extend beyond our boundaries. We argue that advances in technology and globalization have accelerated the degree to which global events directly and indirectly influence U.S. homeland security. Contemporary threats do not recognize national boundaries; efforts to counter them, accordingly, must transcend border lines as well. In this article, we present evidence from the homeland security sub-fields of border security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, public health, and disaster management to show that U.S. homeland security policy is now inherently transnational in nature and therefore best analyzed and understood by taking a broader, global perspective.
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Purpose of Review After nearly 15 years of study, what do we know about the relationship between climate change and security? How can scholars of climate and security inform the world of practice? These questions animate this article, with an eye towards avoiding the twin traps of policy incoherence and academic irrelevance. Recent Findings The last 15 years of study has focused on whether climate change is directly correlated with the onset of violent internal conflict. That being inconclusive, the literature has now productively turned to studying the indirect pathways and mediating factors between climate and social conflict, including but not limited to armed violence. Summary I focus on five different causal pathways and mediating factors that represent the frontier of research on the study of climate and conflict. These include agricultural production and food prices, economic growth, migration, disasters, and international and domestic institutions.
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As qualitative research becomes increasingly recognized and valued, it is imperative that it is conducted in a rigorous and methodical manner to yield meaningful and useful results. To be accepted as trustworthy, qualitative researchers must demonstrate that data analysis has been conducted in a precise, consistent, and exhaustive manner through recording, systematizing , and disclosing the methods of analysis with enough detail to enable the reader to determine whether the process is credible. Although there are numerous examples of how to conduct qualitative research, few sophisticated tools are available to researchers for conducting a rigorous and relevant thematic analysis. The purpose of this article is to guide researchers using thematic analysis as a research method. We offer personal insights and practical examples, while exploring issues of rigor and trustworthiness. The process of conducting a thematic analysis is illustrated through the presentation of an auditable decision trail, guiding interpreting and representing textual data. We detail our step-by-step approach to exploring the effectiveness of strategic clinical networks in Alberta, Canada, in our mixed methods case study. This article contributes a purposeful approach to thematic analysis in order to systematize and increase the traceability and verification of the analysis.
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The World Health Organization defined climate change as the most important issue for the 21st century. In 2014, the State of Hawaii called climate change “a matter of security” that directly threatens “economic systems – food, water, energy, biodiversity and health” and has called for “actionable information for local decision making.” According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the burden of human morbidity attributable to climate change is relatively small although not well quantified. Nevertheless, generic climate change impacts are often used to justify actions without adequate supporting local evidence. This paper analyzes Hawaii’s health risks in relation to air pollution, heat extremes, ultraviolet radiation, and weather extremes and finds that Hawaii’s natural geography, robust water, and sanitation infrastructure render the islands less vulnerable to many of the often-mentioned climate change threats. It concludes that the health security threat posed by climate change effects on Hawaii’s physical environment over the next 35 years is slight in most areas and moderate with regard to ecosystem health. Because all global communities tend to be both discrete and unique in their vulnerability, it recommends the collection of grassroots, community-based resilience data to reveal local vulnerabilities that can inform strategic statewide planning.
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Background: Dengue fever, caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus, is an increasing health concern in the Americas. Meteorological variables such as temperature and precipitation can impact disease distribution and abundance through biophysical impacts on the vector and virus. Such tightly coupled links may facilitate further spread of dengue fever under a changing climate. In the southeastern United States, the dengue vector is widely established and exists on the current fringe of dengue transmission. Objectives: This paper assesses projected climate change-driven shifts in dengue transmission risk in this region. Methods: We used a dynamic mosquito population and virus transmission model driven by meteorological data to simulate Aedes aegypti populations and dengue cases in 23 locations in the southeastern US under current climate conditions and future climate projections. We compared estimates for each location to simulations based on observed data from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where dengue is endemic. Results: Our simulations based on current climate data suggest that dengue transmission at levels similar to San Juan is possible at several US locations during the summer months, especially in southern Florida and Texas. Simulations that include climate change projections suggest that conditions may become suitable for virus transmission in a larger number of locations, and for a longer period of time during each year. However, in contrast with San Juan, US locations would not sustain year-round dengue transmission according to our model. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that dengue virus transmission is limited by low winter temperatures in the mainland US, which are likely to prevent its permanent establishment. Although future climate conditions may increase the length of the mosquito season in many locations, projected increases in dengue transmission are limited to the southernmost locations.
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This literature overview aims to review the relationship between climate change and migration, with a special focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. After a brief history of the debate raised by the relationship between the environment and migration, we identify the main environmental consequences of climate change. In particular, we address the aspects related to tropical storms and hurricanes, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, and, melting glaciers. The paper then proceeds mainly by historical analogy: a summary of the past consequences for migration of these environmental degradations allows us to identify the most important migration issues related to climate change.
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There are diverse linkages between climate change and security including risks of conflict, national security concerns, critical national infrastructure, geo-political rivalries and threats to human security. We review analysis of these domains from primary research and from policy prescriptive and advocacy sources. We conclude that much analysis over-emphasises deterministic mechanisms between climate change and security. Yet the climate-security nexus is more complex than it appears and requires attention from across the social sciences. We review the robustness of present social sciences analysis in assessing the causes and consequences of climate change on human security, and identify new areas of research. These new areas include the need to analyse the absence of conflict in the face of climate risks and the need to expand the range of issues accounted for in analysis of climate and security including the impacts of mitigation response on domains of security. We argue for the necessity of robust theories that explain causality and associations, and the need to include theories of asymmetric power relations in explaining security dimensions. We also highlight the dilemmas of how observations and historical analysis of climate and security dimensions may be limited as the climate changes in ways that present regions with unprecedented climate risks.
Climate change presents a significant challenge to global health. This paper examines the health impacts of climate change from extreme weather events, temperature changes, rising sea levels and changes in precipitation. These health impacts include heat-related illnesses and deaths, air pollution-related health effects, allergic diseases, infectious diseases, malnutrition, and disasters associated with extreme weather-related health effects such as hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, fires, heavy precipitation, storms and flooding. Most populations will be impacted by climate change in the next decades, putting peoples' lives and wellbeing at risk. Vulnerable populations across the globe will be impacted disproportionately due to climate change. It is populations that are often least responsible for climate change that experience the greatest adverse impacts, raising important moral issues of equity and fairness. In addition to reviewing the literature on the health impacts of climate change, this paper will examine issues of inequity across vulnerable populations and generations due to climate change, the health co-benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation, and potential options for adaptation to increasingly extreme weather events.
It is time to broaden our thinking on the concept of homeland security and recognize the degree to which environmental security, and in particular climate change, affects US homeland security equities. Understanding how environmental security became a national security issue may be beneficial as the homeland security community seeks to understand the emerging issue of climate change and strategic documents linking climate change and homeland security.