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Higher Temperatures from Climate Change Can Deteriorate Stored Ammunition and Explosives

Munitions exposed to heat

Munitions exposed to extreme heat can become unstable, leading to unplanned explosions at munitions sites, or UEMS. Credit: Getty Images

By Marc Kodack

Climate change will affect bulk commodities, e.g., ammunition, that the U.S. Amy relies on in combat operations. As temperatures increase in arid areas of the world, such as the Middle East (which is critically important to U.S. national security), the storage of ammunition and explosives (AE) under extreme temperatures can lead to instability and possible unplanned detonations. A recent article in Scientific American explores the storage of ammunition whereby “intense heat can weaken munition’s structural integrity, cause the thermal expansion of explosive chemicals and damage protective shields.” (more…)

Climate Change Driving Increase in Black Flag Days at 100 U.S. Military Installations

US Military and Extreme Heat

An Army Ranger trainee completes a 12-mile march at Fort Benning in Georgia while wearing heat sensors under his uniform to measure his core temperature and heart rate. (Brock Stoneham/NBC News)

By Marc Kodack

Elevated temperatures from climate change will adversely affect the health of military personnel. The increased heat that will occur over the next 30 years will affect multiple installations in the U.S. On average, these installations will experience additional days of high heat conditions according to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

UCS examined different climate scenarios to calculate the number of hot days for 169 installations in the U.S. across the Services. They found that without any reductions in global CO2 levels by 2050, the average installation will experience 33 additional days with a heat index above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the report: (more…)

Heat-related illness increasing among U.S. military personnel

US Military and Extreme Heat

An Army Ranger trainee completes a 12-mile march at Fort Benning, Georgia, while wearing heat sensors to measure core temperature and heart rate. (Brock Stoneham/NBC News)

By Marc Kodack

Heat-related illnesses (heat stroke and heat exhaustion) have increased among U.S. military personnel since 2008 according to a July 23, 2019, investigative news story jointly released by Inside Climate News, an independent news organization that focuses on climate, energy and the environment, and NBCNews.com. Increasing temperature driven by climate change has not only health, but security implications for U.S. military and local populations, and the issue is worth exploring further. (more…)

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…)