Understanding the Connections: An Analysis of Climate Change and Human Security

Erica Martinez, University of Texas at El Paso


Increasing evidence shows that the impacts of anthropogenic climate change have magnified and will have dramatic implications for both the natural and social systems (Adger et al., 2014). While research on the security implications of climate change has been found to have a major bearing on policy making, experts have not reached a consensus about how climate change and human security are related, leaving the climate-security nexus and corresponding policies underdeveloped. The purpose of this study is to delineate and scrutinize the relationship between climate change and human security so that a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon is achieved. Employing a mixed methods approach, I examine how climate change variables interact with other economic, social, and political factors that are commonly related to insecurity. I first conduct a qualitative analysis that uses process tracing to track the causal processes that exist between climate change impacts on human security outcomes in Bangladesh and the Sudanese province of Darfur. I use the findings of these investigations to inform a quantitative study that examines the connections statistically. The empirical results show that climate change has both direct and indirect effects on various dimensions of human security. Specifically, I find that increased temperatures decrease livelihood, increase migration, and indirectly contribute to the increase of civil conflict in developing states.

Subject Area

Political science|International Relations|Environmental Studies

Recommended Citation

Martinez, Erica, "Understanding the Connections: An Analysis of Climate Change and Human Security" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27999805.