The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a recent report, issuing the strongest warning yet on the devastating impact on climate change. According to the UN report, “even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally.” One of the more salient concerns to emerge from the impact of a warming planet is water scarcity, as scientists have inextricably correlated these two concepts for decades. However, what we are seeing now are terrorist groups taking advantage of areas with water shortages and manipulating water resources as a coercive tactic.
The militant group, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISL) has put the issue in focus as a significant security concern and humanitarian crisis. For many geographically-disadvantaged nations in the world that are already dealing with water concerns, the impact of climate change isn’t going to be felt 20, 30, or 40 years from now. The impacts are being felt today and will only worsen as time goes on. Furthermore, many of these nations that are already feeling the impact of unpredictable weather patterns leading to water scarcity, are also hotbeds of militant extremism. ISIS represents the first significant case of the results of climate change being used as a tool of terror.