Study links El Nino climate to civil wars, unrest

August 24, 2011 - 2:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found another thing to blame on the climate demon El Nino: civil strife within poor tropical countries.

A new study released Wednesday finds a significant increase in unrest during the years of an El Nino (el NEEN-yo), which is a regular climatic event that warms the central Pacific Ocean.

It's such a noticeable jump that the scientists say there is more than just a link, but a partial cause.

They say one out of five conflicts over a 55-year period were influenced partly and somehow by El Nino. It isn't the only or main cause, but 48 civil wars or uprisings had an El Nino influence factor. That influence was only seen in mostly tropical countries.

The study is in the journal Nature.