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There are two hearings this morning in the U.S. Congress that are especially relevant to the climate and security discourse – one on preparedness for extreme weather events – or a lack thereof – and the other on fisheries treaties (see below). These hearings are both relevant because climate change is all about the water, and both extreme weather events and fisheries are all about the water. Extreme rainfall variability, precipitated (pun intended) by climate change, will likely lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. A warming ocean (which is where most of the earth’s heat goes) is already influencing major fisheries across the world. And an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts in some regions of the world will likely have an impact on freshwater fisheries as well. In short, climate change is likely to exacerbate water-based stresses on human societies. Or as CNA’s Military Advisory Board put it in 2007, climate change is a “threat multiplier.” We’ve listed the details of both hearings below.
First, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing at 10am Eastern titled “Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared.” UPDATE: A video of the hearing is now up. As listed on the Committee website, panelists will include: (more…)
There has been a lot of discussion about the recent polar vortex that swept through most of the United States. A fair amount of this discussion has been a somewhat “heated” conversation about what it means for climate change. In fact, this is the same discussion the country has during almost every major weather event. (more…)
There is a lot we can learn from what went right and what went wrong in our preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy. Two former Department of Defense officials, Jeff Marqusee, former executive director of the DOD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, and retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State, recently penned an op-ed for the Virginian-Pilot highlighting what we can learn from the military. Their points are specifically in regards to Hurricane Sandy, but the lessons they draw demonstrate how the “military planning community” is and will be a vital actor in preparing and responding to climate change-associated risks of all kinds. (more…)
We know that climate change will bring more frequent and intense extreme weather events. Less discussed is the likelihood that very different types of extreme events, sometimes within a very short span of time, are increasingly likely to occur in the same place. In particular, widely varying water-related events – whether there is too much water or not enough, could become a destructive, see-sawing norm. Below is a look at three locations around the world currently making headlines for having to manage both drought and flood extremes, all in a very short period of time. (more…)