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Emerging Risks: Melting Ice Reveals an Old Nuclear Waste Site

PM2Anuclearpowerplant

Climate change impacts security in myriad ways and on multiple scales, from local infrastructure to international geopolitics. At the Center for Climate and Security, that has been reflected in a range of analysis covering these multiple types and levels of security risk, including a report on sea level rise and its impact on U.S. military infrastructure, and another on the connections between climate change and the Arab Spring. However, new risks are emerging seemingly every day, and some of them remain under-explored. Most recently, we conducted a pioneering look at the intersection of climate, security and nuclear affairs (including nuclear security and proliferation), bringing together experts from both fields to produce a roadmap for how these risks might be understood and managed together, rather than separately. In this context, a new journal article from Jeff Colgan explores new risks that are literally emerging from the ice, as Arctic melting reveals nuclear waste at an (abandoned) military site in Greenland. See his writeup – a cross-post from the New Security Beat – below. (more…)

White House Releases National Strategy for the Arctic Region

031000-N-XXXXB-001The White House Office of the Press Secretary has just issued a statement announcing the release of a National Strategy for the Arctic Region.  The strategy includes significant attention to the role climate change plays in regional security and cooperation. Specifically, the strategy outlines the “lines of effort” as: 1. Advance United States Security Interests, 2. Pursue Responsible Arctic Region Stewardship, 3. Strengthen International Cooperation. Attention to climate change risks is strewn throughout the document. Here are some notable excerpts: (more…)

The Ice Melt Equation: An Ultimate Geopolitical Calculus

Ice_and_Clouds_in_the_Bering_StraitThis is a cross-post from Relief Analysis Wire

“Do ice sheets have a linear or exponential melt rate?”

This question may not be echoed frequently around the command centers of NATO, streets of Damascus, or ministries of Beijing. But if researchers James Hansen and Makiko Sato are correct in their inkling, then geopolitics, global security, and humanitarian operations just got extremely problematic in the coming decades. (more…)

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