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Thomas Friedman Cites the Center for Climate and Security on Extreme Weather in the Middle East and South Asia

Iraqis displaced by conflict collect water at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 30, 2015. Scorching temperatures are normal this time of year, but an unprecedented heat wave prompted Iraqi authorities to declare a mandatory four-day holiday beginning Thursday. The government has urged residents to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Iraqis displaced by conflict collect water at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman published an Op-ed today, “The World’s Hot Spot,” about the extreme heat waves plaguing the Middle East and South Asia, including Iran (citing AccuWeather’s Anthony Sagliani who stated that a July 31 reading in the Iranian city of Bandar Mahshahr was ‘…one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen, and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world.’) The column explores political protests and sweeping changes in government, particularly in Iraq, which followed from the perceived inadequate response to the heat wave, and asks questions about whether or not enough attention is being paid to climatic events by the region’s political leaders.

Friedman cited the Center for Climate and Security’s Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, regarding how climate stresses are measured against other security risks, as well as how such extreme events can place significant strains on the social contract between governments and their respective publics. The full citation: (more…)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: One in Three Coastal Projects Vulnerable to Climate Risks

800px-Corps_improves_Savannah_harbors_largest_dredge_disposal_area_(9689197168)The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just released preliminary results of an Initial Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) of its coastal projects to sea level changes. The results show that roughly one third of projects are vulnerable. Specifically, the USACE project notes: (more…)

The Atlantic Cities: Climate Change and Water Scarcity

Watering_her_sheep,_Dead_Cities_region,_NW_SyriaAtlantic Cities’ John Metcalfe recently ran a piece arguing that water scarcity – with an emphasis on more severe drought – is the most immediate threat emanating from a changing climate. While we would add “water variability” to that assessment (as too much water, or too much or too little water when you’re expecting something different, are consequences of climate change that are also problematic factors that compound scarcity), it’s important to highlight this issue in the mainstream media, which tends to primarily focus on sea level rise and extreme storms. Given the IPCC’s assessment that we’re already seeing extended droughts that are likely linked to climate change, and recent studies such as NOAA’s 2011 report which linked climate change to the decrease in winter precipitation in the Mediterranean littoral and the Mashreq since the 1970s, its a prescient warning.

Colleton and Shepherd: Next Commerce Secretary Must Understand Climate Change and Weather Risks

GOES-R-Satellite_NOAA_Photo_LibraryNancy Colleton, president of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and Marshall Shepherd, President of the American Meteorological Society, recently penned a very interesting piece calling for a new Secretary of Commerce that understands the risks extreme weather and climate change pose for businesses, and economic security more generally. They state: (more…)

Rear Admiral David Titley Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

Rear Admiral Titley USN RetWe are honored to welcome Rear Admiral David W. Titley, United States Navy (Retired), to the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board.

Dr. Titley is a nationally known expert in the field of climate, the Arctic, and National Security. He served as a naval officer for 32 years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. Dr. Titley’s career included duties as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (more…)

Rear Admiral Titley on Climate Change as a National Security Issue

110427-N-QF368-025Rear Admiral David Titley, USN (Ret), formerly chief operating officer of NOAA, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and director of the US Navy’s Task Force Climate Change, has written a great piece for WBUR on the climate threat. As noted in the introduction, Admiral Titley was once a skeptic of climate change, but has for many years since, in a variety of positions within the U.S. Navy and U.S. government, urged and implemented action on the issue as a matter of national security. From the article: (more…)

The Role of Climate Change in Decimating Grain Stocks

IDL TIFF fileAs reported by EPI yesterday, global grain stocks dropped “dangerously low” in 2012, largely as a result of droughts that “devastated several major crops—namely corn in the United States (the world’s largest crop) and wheat in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Australia.” What makes these lows very dangerous is that consumption of grains are significantly outpacing production. Demand is growing, while more and more crops are withering in the sun. (more…)