The Center for Climate & Security

RELEASE: The Council on Strategic Risks Offers Recommendations for the Next U.S. Administration on Biological, Climate and Nuclear Threats

Washington, DC, October 20, 2020 – Today, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) released important new policy recommendations: “Confronting Systemic Security Risks: Proposals for the Next U.S. Administration.” The briefer offers policy ideas for consideration by the national security leaders of the next Presidential Administration, and covers three important areas of global strategic risk: biological threats, climate threats, and nuclear threats. 

“Many of the most serious security threats facing the United States today arise from rapid developments spiraling across a complex and changing globe,” the report states. “Each of these risks will require an integrated approach across the Federal government, pairing the analytic systems of the Pentagon and intelligence community with the early warning capabilities of our diplomatic and development experts. To prevent the worst impacts, a well-rounded U.S. security community must be prepared and responsive as soon as a new strategic threat emerges.”

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U.S. Navy Tests Solar Power Beaming Technology

ISS_power_beaming_demoBy Dr. Marc Kodack

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is developing technologies designed to capture solar power in space, directly by an orbiting satellite, and beaming that captured power back to Earth. One of those technologies is the Photovoltaic RF Antenna Module (PRAM) satellite launched in May 2020 aboard the U.S. Air Force’s experimental orbital aircraft, the X-37B. Power beaming uses different light frequencies to wirelessly transmit power to a receiver. NRL previously tested a land-based system using an infrared laser whose 400 watts of direct current was wirelessly captured by photovoltaic cells tuned to the laser’s wavelengths over a distance of 325 meters. The collected satellite data will be also be compared to existing data from the land-based experiment. (more…)

Climate Change Adversely Affecting Aircraft Performance in Greece: Implications for Militaries?

Royal_Navy_Rescue_Helicopter_passing_Western_Hill_-_geograph.org.uk_-_189510By Dr. Marc Kodack

The deleterious effects of high temperatures and humidity on the performance of aircraft are exacerbated in many places around the world under climate change. Last year, in a Center for Climate and Security briefer, these effects were discussed for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. They include reductions in take-off weight because of reduced lift and, longer take-off and landing distances. The result will be that military operations will be at higher risk of disruption or outright failure, particularly in those locations where longer over-water distances need to be traversed. Complementing the briefer is a recent study by Gratton et al. (2020) that collected and analyzed climate change effects on the operation of two types of commercial, civilian aircraft that are commonly used at Greek airports. (more…)

Interview with Rear Admiral Ann Phillips on Climate and Security: “You’re the Future. No Pressure!”

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, US Navy (Ret)

This interview is part of a series in which Center for Climate and Security (CSS) and Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) interns interview members of the CCS and CSR Advisory Boards and other key voices in the climate and security field. Vanessa Pinney interviewed Ann Phillips, member of the CCS Advisory Board and the CSR Governing Board, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, and the first female Director of Surface Warfare in the Pentagon, who currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection – a Cabinet position. The responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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