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Modelling Climate Change Risks to a U.S. Air Force and Army Base

Sunlight peeks through the ceiling of Hanger 5 at Tyndall Air Force Base, damaged by Hurricane Michael [Times photo by Tailyr Irvine]

By Dr. Marc Kodack

As U.S. military installation planners incorporate climate change into their work, such as the development of installation master plans, they often draw on existing military sources of data and handbooks (see ArmyNavy) to prepare those plans. Planners may also incorporate findings from academic studies that are relevant, particularly if they include individual installations in the research. As an example, Tadić and Biraud (2020) from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory modeled what precipitation and maximum daily temperature would be for three, 30-year windows (2015-2035; 2035-2065; and 2085-2100) under two different emission scenarios for Travis Air Force Base, California, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Temperatures are forecast to rise across the three time periods in both emission scenarios for Travis from 1.1-to-2.70C (2-to-4.90F). Similarly, Fort Bragg temperatures are forecast to increase 0.9-to-2.20C (0.6-to-40F). Precipitation changes are weak for both scenarios across all time periods for both installations.

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Top 10 Most Climate-Vulnerable Military Bases According to U.S. Armed Forces

Offutt Air Force Base_battling_flood_waters_190317-F-IT794-1053

Offutt Air Force Base flooded on March 17, 2019, caused by increase in water levels of surrounding waterways due to record-setting snowfall in winter & large drop in air pressure (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)

By John Conger

In 2017, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a list of the installations in each military service that were most vulnerable to climate change.  They gave DoD a year to do this work, as it wasn’t simple.  The DoD would need to look across its enterprise, and determine how it would measure vulnerability and assess which risks were specifically from climate change.  At the Center for Climate and Security, we published a briefer on the factors they might consider. (more…)

The Air Force’s Most Vulnerable Bases

200th RED HORSE and 179th Airlift Wing Airmen aid in Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts

Ohio Air National Guardmen traveled to Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael, to provide damage assessment and recovery efforts, October 17-22, 2018 (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Ashley Klase)

By John Conger

In 2017, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a list of the installations in each military service that were most vulnerable to climate change.  They gave DoD a year to do this work, as it wasn’t simple.  The DoD would need to look across its enterprise, and determine how it would measure vulnerability and assess which risks were specifically from climate change.  At the Center for Climate and Security, we published a briefer on the factors they might consider.

In early 2019, the DoD report was submitted to Congress, but it omitted the requested prioritization and had other puzzling gaps as well.  It omitted the Marine Corps.  It left out all non-US bases.  It didn’t respond to Congressional questions about mitigation and cost.  Instead, it included a list of 79 bases that the Department determined were its most critical, and then did a rudimentary assessment of the threat from climate change without prioritization.  Congress directed them to go back and redo the work. (more…)

U.S. Navy and San Diego Port Partner on Sea Level Rise: First of its Kind Agreement on West Coast

training exercise at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Landing craft utility boats at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado during a training exercise.

This press release is a cross-post from the Port of San Diego 

Port and Navy Partner on Sea Level Rise Preparation; First of its Kind Agreement on the West Coast

As champions in the safekeeping and environmental care of San Diego Bay and our dynamic waterfront, the Port of San Diego has formally agreed to coordinate with the U.S. Navy to prepare for potential impacts of sea level rise.

At its meeting on May 8, 2018, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Commander Navy Region Southwest, the first agreement of its kind between the U.S. Navy and a West Coast port. In support of both agencies’ operations and missions, the Port and the Navy will share information, evaluate the best available scientific information and modeling related to sea level rise and collaborate to identify complementary adaptation policies and measures. (more…)

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