Climate change and geopolitics converge to yield locust swarms

The butterfly effect occurs when a trivial cause, such as a butterfly fluttering its wings somewhere in an Amazon rainforest, triggers a series of events that end up having a massive impact elsewhere—a tornado ravaging the state of Texas in the US, for example. Edward Lorenz, the American meteorologist who coined the phrase in the early 1960s, came up with it while building a mathematical model to predict weather patterns. It is a fitting metaphor to explain a “plague” that is currently destroying vegetation and livelihoods in East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, Iran, Pakistan and India.

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