Climate Change as a National Security Issue

Climate change as a national security issue, published in HS Wire, Feb. 22.

“The net conclusion is that weather is changing dramatically in specific regions, and the nature of the change is that we’re seeing more record high temperatures and many, many fewer low-temperature records.”

“The bottom line is that our national security depends on our ability to sustain and augment our scientific and technical capacity to monitor unfolding events and forewarn of important changes,” Baker said. “The imminent increase in extreme events will affect water availability, energy use, food distribution, and critical infrastructure — all elements of both domestic and international security.”Other potential effects, McElroy said, are tied to changes in an atmospheric circulation pattern called the Hadley circulation, in which warm tropical air rises, resulting in tropical rains. As the air moves to higher latitudes, it descends, causing the now-dry air to heat up. Regions where the hot, dry air returns to the surface are typically dominated by desert.

Full text of the 134 page report from Harvard University is here.

A related report that may be of interest: 2013 WorldWide Threat Assessment. (March 13, 2013)

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