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Charlotte Church Divides Opinion After Linking Climate Change To Syrian Civil War On Question Time

02/10/2015 10:16 BST | Updated 02/10/2015 11:59 BST

Charlotte Church caused controversy on Question Time last night, after the singer and left-leaning activist spoke out about the link between climate change and Syria's civil war.

An outspoken critic of military intervention in Syria, Church made an emotional plea to BBC viewers to "look at what we're doing to the planet and how that might cause more conflict in the world".

"There is evidence to suggest that climate change was a big factor in how the Syrian conflict came about because from 2006 until 2011," she said on Thursday.

"They experienced one of the worst droughts in its history, which of course meant that there were water shortages and crops weren't growing.

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Syrians Flee Into Turkey, June 2015

"There was mass migration from rural areas of Syria into the urban centres, which put on more strain, and resources were more scarce, which apparently contributed to the conflict there today."

She was referring to a study published by the prestigious Columbia University in the US.

Scientists detailed the destruction of agriculture in the 'breadbasket' region of Northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in spring 2011.

Inevitably, the claims prompted searing reaction on social media -- some remaining sceptical at best.

And, despite her remark being met with stony silence by audience members, many social media users were more sympathetic.

Church herself slammed scceptics on Twitter after the episode aired, telling those who dismissed her points out of hand to "go do some research - come back to me and we'll have a conversation about 'the real world'".

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