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The Security Threat of Extreme Heat

NWS-NOAA_Omega_wind_heatwave_June_28-July_4_2015By Christine Parthemore

Heatwaves are all over the news this week. Forecasts indicate that two-thirds of the United States will experience a severe heatwave this weekend

This comes days after the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued a new report on the topic. CBS News quoted the organization’s president in describing heatwaves as “one of the deadliest natural hazards facing humanity,” which “will only become more serious and more widespread as the climate crisis continues.” The report, which provides guidance to cities for mitigating the myriad health and other risks associated with this trend, states that “More intense and frequent heatwaves are already occurring in many parts of the world,” and with them come serious health consequences. (more…)

Femia on TRT World: The Strategic Benefit of Acting on Climate and Security

Francesco Femia on TRT WorldIn an interview segment released yesterday by TRT World, Francesco Femia, the Co-Founder of the Center for Climate and Security and CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks, spoke with host Ghida Fakhry and WRI’s Rebecca Carter about the increasing evidence of a connection between climate change and conflict, the  growing bipartisan consensus in the United States about the security risks of climate change, and the idea of action on climate and security as a strategic benefit for countries that wish to expand their leadership and influence.  The interview begins at 17:45, below. (more…)

Finding Consensus on Climate-Conflict Links

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Experts enjoying a bit of levity in the midst of expert elicitation. Photo Credit: Woods Institute for the Environment.

By Cullen Hendrix

Today’s issue of Nature reports the results of an attempt to mine the scholarly debate over climate-conflict links for consensus using “expert elicitation.” The process, led by Katharine Mach of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, brought together experts from economics, geography and political science to identify sources of agreement and disagreement in the now large body of evidence linking climate change to conflict – in this case, domestic armed conflict, like the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Yemen. (more…)

A Tribute to Dr. Janne E. Nolan

NolanTNIt is with great sadness that the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) mourns the passing of Dr. Janne E. Nolan, Founding Board Member of CSR, and Member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board.

Janne was a strong proponent of practical, non-partisan solutions for anticipating, analyzing and addressing systemic and existential risks to security.  She played a major role in founding CSR in 2017, and contributed invaluable advice and expertise to the work of CSR’s Converging Risks Lab, Center on Strategic Weapons and Center for Climate and Security.

Janne was a pioneer and deeply-respected expert on nuclear security affairs, beginning with her seminal book “Guardians of the Arsenal: The Politics of Nuclear Strategy,” which influenced generations of scholars and policy-makers in the field. She also founded and chaired the Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG) for many years – a formidable non-partisan network that inspired much of the work of the CSR. (more…)

Climate Change Threatening Military Bases Across Florida

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Damaged ceiling of Hanger 5 at Tyndall Air Force Base early in 2019 – a result of Hurricane Michael [Tampa Bay Times photo by Tailyr Irvine]

In a recent Op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, the Center for Climate and Security’s John Conger highlighted the climate change-related risks that are increasingly affecting the U.S. military in Florida, as well as the broader national security and defense implications of those risks. The piece begins:

Floridians know that climate change is endangering their health, prosperity and communities. A new hurricane season is a reminder that it’s also threatening America’s national security — beginning with military bases right here in Florida.

When Hurricane Michael struck the Panhandle last fall, it devastated Tyndall Air Force Base. Winds of 160 mph ripped off roofs and damaged or destroyed nearly 700 buildings; 11,000 people had to relocate. Forty percent of the base’s F-22s were unready to fly and had to be stowed in hangars that could not protect them. Every plane was damaged.

(more…)

The Climate Threat to the US Energy System

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Solar panels are tested during a NATO exercise in Hungary

In an article published in Defense One last week, Amy Myers Jaffe highlights the results of a March 2019 Council on Foreign Relations workshop with 44 experts (including the Director of the Center for Climate and Security, John Conger) titled “Climate Risk Impacts on the Energy System: Examining the Financial, Security, and Technological Dimensions.” The conversation was wide-ranging, exploring critical energy systems across both the civilian and military realms. On the military side of the ledger, the group raised serious concerns about the vulnerability of the Department of Defense’s energy supply to climate change-driven disruptions. In particular: (more…)

Sherri Goodman Talks “Threat Multiplier” on Yale Climate Connections

SherriGoodman2018

Why does the Department of Defense call climate change a threat multiplier? Last week, Yale Climate Connections sat down with Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist at the Center for Climate and Security and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) to find out more. She explains, “Extreme weather and water shortages increase the risk of political instability and terrorism.” As a threat multiplier, climate change aggravates other stressors that together can threaten a nation’s stability. (more…)