The empirical knowledge base on the connections between extreme events of many types, including climate events, and political instability or violence also suggests some hypotheses that are worthy of examination in future research. For example, the available evidence is consistent with the idea that climate events affecting places of national security interest to the United States are likely to create the potential for significant violence, conflict, or breakdown dependent upon seven factors:
We reiterate that the available evidence indicates that the relationships are complex and uncertain between the kinds of climate events that can be expected to occur with greater frequency in the coming decade and the kinds of social or political outcomes that can become U.S. national security concerns. The picture is blurry in part because both the climatic and the political events of concern have been infrequent until now, making analysis of their relationships difficult. Available evidence on several of these connections, however, points to the same general finding we reported in Chapter 4 regarding the causes of social and political stresses, namely, that the effects of climatic events on outcomes of security significance are contingent on a variety of specific social, political, economic, and environmental conditions in affected places. Thus, even with a more extensive body of climate experience to draw upon, it is unlikely that simple, straightforward conclusions will be found that reliably link a climate event of a particular type with a particular kind of effect on conflict or on key aspects of social well-being.