War weather. A recent published in the 24 August 2011 issue of “Nature,” has statistically quantified the connection between extreme weather and violent conflict, essentially doubling the risk of civil war. Among the study’s findings is that 20% of the 250 conflicts between 1950 and 2004 were triggered by the El Niño cycle, which brings hotter, dried weather patterns, frequently causing droughts and food shortages. Solomon Hsiang, who led the research at Columbia University, New York, said: "This study shows a systematic pattern of global climate affecting conflict right now. . . . When crops fail, people may take up a gun to make a living," said Hsiang. — anonymous