reviewed reports portray a range of effects.7 In turn, these reports and scientific models suggest that these effects may lead to more severe or frequent droughts, floods, storms, and other events with negative consequences for food and water supplies, leading to possibly even greater stress on the expanded population.8 Viewed from a national security standpoint, these changes would likely amplify stresses on weaker nations and generate geopolitical instability in already-vulnerable regions.9 A range of military missions might be necessary as a result of such conditions, including the sorts of antipiracy and counterterrorism missions now being conducted off the waters of Somalia. However, the clearest implications are for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) missions, which may increase in frequency, thereby straining military transportation resources and the supporting force structures. The U.S. Navy, as a forward-deployed force in position to reach targeted disaster-relief sites faster than other agencies can, will almost surely experience increased demand for U.S. naval forces’ assistance if climaterelated disasters increase.10 The demand for Navy Construction Battalion capability in support of HA/DR operations is expected to increase in proportion to the operational tempo of U.S.-sponsored international HA/DR operations.11 Likewise, the U.S. Marine Corps should expect that it will be called on as an expeditionary ground force to assist with extreme-weather-related HA/DR events in a changing climate

grow another 40 percent, to more than 9 billion people, adding even greater stresses to water and food supplies. CIESIN also reports that population increases are fastest in areas most vulnerable to intense storms and flooding (e.g., coastal areas, islands, and river basins). The CIESIN analysis combines its population data sets with IPCCprojected climate-change-related vulnerabilities, economic data, and past disaster-related losses to identify areas at relative high risk from one or more hazards. See Robert S. Chen, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, “Human Dimensions of Climate Change,” and Marc Levy, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, “Climate Change and U.S. National Security,” presentations to the committee, November 19, 2009, Washington, D.C.

7

For example, see Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson, 2009, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Cambridge University Press, New York.

8

See Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, “Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis,” Working Group I contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B Averyt, M. Tignor, and H.L. Miller [eds.]), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York. See also C.P. McMullen and J. Jabbour, 2009, Climate Change Science Compendium, United Nations Environment Programme, EarthPrint, Nairobi, Kenya.

9

See June 25, 2008, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: Statement of the Record by Dr. Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis—National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change to 2030. Available at http:www.dni.gov/testimonies/20080625_testimony.pdf. Accessed November 24, 2009. See also Military Advisory Board, 2007, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. CNA Corporation, Alexandria, Va.

10

A 2007 joint maritime strategy document for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard calls out “humanitarian assistance and disaster response” as one of six capabilities that constitute the core of U.S. maritime power and that “reflect an increased emphasis on those activities that prevent war and build partnerships.” See Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, available at http:www.navy.mil/maritime/MaritimeStrategy.pdf. Accessed November 23, 2009. However, it is not the sole responsibility of the U.S. military to respond to national and international humanitarian and disaster-relief emergencies; many U.S. and international governmental and private agencies may be engaged in any given relief operation.

11

For a review of U.S. Navy Construction Battalion operations, see U.S. Navy Seabees First Naval Construction Division, Strategic Plan 2008-2011, Norfolk, Va.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement