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Marqusee and Titley: Learning Security Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Soldiers_assist_residents_displaced_by_Hurricane_Sandy_in_Hoboken,_N.J.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…)

Hon. Sherri Goodman & Gen. Gordon Sullivan: Climate Change is a Threat Multiplier

Enduring Freedom, NATURAL FIREClimate change is a “threat multiplier.” This was the primary focus of an excellent piece in today’s Politico co-authored by the Hon. Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense, senior vice president and general counsel of CNA, and executive director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, and Gen. Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret), the 32nd chief of staff of the Army, president and chief executive officer of the Association of the United States Army, and member of the CNA Military Advisory Board. (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…)

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…)