Kelley et al (2015) show some of the social trends in Syria. But the World Bank give many more - and together they are enough to describe the anatomy of the growing pressurised Syrian system. As the 2000s progressed, the urban population was rising, partly as a result of Iraqi refugees, but GDP was rising and food production was rising. But it was also getting hotter with the groundwater reserves in decline, and inflation rising steeply. The region is used to coping with fluctuating seasonal rainfall. Indeed, the drought in 2006-2010 had been preceded by similar droughts in the 1950s, 1980s and 1990s when food production had suffered but social stability had remained largely intact. The real difference with the last drought was the growing inability of the whole social-political-economic-agricultural system to absorb the problem and to cope. It had lost resilience through the gradual changes portrayed by the social and environmental trends - and the widely reported rise of mobile phones had acted as the catalyst for coordinating protest.
Climate change didn't 'cause' the Syrian war - it just played a big hand in starting it. It seems that we can expect more conflict, mass migration and geopolitical instability as an indirect impact of unmitigated climate change.
Parts of this entry were published online in The Guardian 6-12-15 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/06/nuclear-is-not-the-answer-to-the-climate-crisis