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Climate Change and Water in the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community”

Digging_irrigation_channels,_Palmyra,_SyriaIn his “Statement for the Record” regarding the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community,” released yesterday, the Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper had a lot of ground to cover, ranging from the nuclear threat posed by Iran to the threat posed by cyber-saboteurs. And within that range of global and regional threats, those emanating from, or exacerbated by, a changing climate received prominent attention. (more…)

Director of National Intelligence: Climate Change in the Worldwide Threat Assessment

James_R._Clapper_official_portraitJames R. Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), delivered remarks yesterday to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding the recently-released “Worldwide Threat Assessment” of the U.S. Intelligence Community. In it, Clapper identifies climate change as a threat to national security under the assessment’s “natural resources” basket. He begins with a description of why the threat assessment includes natural resource issues: (more…)

Notable Climate and Security Publications of 2012

Temperature_globalThe year 2012 was the warmest year on record for the United States. It was also a year of extraordinary natural disasters in both the U.S., and abroad. Hurricane Sandy, for example, was the eleventh billion-dollar weather-related disaster for the U.S. in 2012, accompanied by unprecedented heat waves, droughts and tornadoes.  Tropical storms and flooding in East Asia, unexpected heavy rains and flooding in Somalia, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo, 19 straight months of punishing drought in northern Brazil, are just a few examples of a very volatile year in terms of extreme weather events globally. The security implications of these, and other similar events, will certainly be a subject of study in the years to come, as will be their connections to climate change. (more…)

The Water Bubble: A 21st Century Built on Dwindling Water Resources

A new global study published last week in Nature has found that “almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished.” Essentially, thousands of years of accumulated water could soon be gone. So while much of the media focused on budget deficits, a large part of the world is facing a water deficit. This will have serious implications for drinking water, energy and food, which in turn could place major stress on regional and international security. As stated in the recent Intelligence Community Assessment on water security released by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence,“during the next 10 years the depletion of groundwater supplies in some agricultural areas—owing to poor management—will pose a risk to both national and global food markets.” (more…)

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